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Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2003

IUB CultureFest to feature former Clinton advisor

Eric Liu, founder of the How We Teach Initiative and a domestic policy advisor to former President Bill Clinton, will be the featured speaker at this year's CultureFest, which will be held next Thursday (Aug. 28) at Indiana University Bloomington.

CultureFest celebrates the history of IU and its cultural diversity. In addition to Liu's address, this year's event will provide IU students with an opportunity to sample the food, music, art and dance of many ethnic groups that are represented on campus. All of the cultural centers on the Bloomington campus are involved with the event and will be represented at the festival.

Liu will speak at a program beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the IU Auditorium. The program will extend to the Fine Arts Plaza after Liu's lecture. Although the free event is primarily for students, IU faculty, staff and the public are welcome.

Other speakers will include IUB Chancellor Sharon Stephens Brehm and Gloria Gibson, associate vice chancellor in the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

An author, educator and commentator, Liu founded the How We Teach Initiative, a global multimedia project to develop a universal set of effective and powerful teaching methods. The project ranges across professions, walks of life and cultures to distill the practices of some of the world's best practitioners of various crafts and vocations. At its core is the book, How We Teach, which Liu is authoring for Random House, and an interactive Web community centered on the book's subject matter.

Liu has an extensive background in public life, most recently serving as President Clinton's deputy domestic policy advisor in the second term. He helped lead the administration's work on education, crime and other issues. During the first Clinton term, he was a global policy speechwriter for the president and a director for legislative affairs at the National Security Council. He was a legislative aide to former U.S. senator and current University of Oklahoma President David Boren from 1990-93.

Liu is founder of the acclaimed grassroots journal The Next Progressive and he edited the 1994 Norton anthology Next: Young American Writers on the New Generation. He is also the author of The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker (Random House), a collection of essays on racial identity that was a New York Times Notable Book of 1998. Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of the nation's leading cultural critics, called the book "a major contribution to the literature that defines what it means to be an American."

Musical performances at the Fine Arts Plaza will and include Latino music group Orquestra Son, the IU Swing Club, the a cappella group Straight No Chaser and Afro Hoosier International. The festival will also feature Indian and Middle Eastern dance performances, Korean drumming and Native American drum and song.

Seven food areas are planned and will showcase a wide variety of cuisines, from hamburgers and pizza to Asian, Latino and other ethnic foods. Free food vouchers will be given to those students who come for the presentation at the IU Auditorium. Vouchers will also be available for purchase.

CultureFest 2003 is part of IUB's Welcome Week festivities, which continue through the start of classes on Sept. 1. Welcome Week also features Traditions and Spirit of IU in Assembly Hall on Friday (Aug. 29) at 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Melanie Payne, director of Welcome Week Programs, at 812-855-6189 or