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Diversity Arts Series Set for O.C. : Cultures: Santa Ana and Irvine will join in the Smithsonian's push for a greater presence on the West Coast.

August 27, 1993|ZAN DUBIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Santa Ana and Irvine are among 12 California cities that will be hosting an ambitious 1993-94 series of public lectures, concerts and teacher workshops focusing on cultural diversity organized by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

"Many Cultures--One Nation," emphasizing music, philosophy, anthropology and history, begins in September in Ukiah and is scheduled to reach Santa Ana's Bowers Museum of Cultural Art and the Irvine Civic Center April 14-17, a Smithsonian spokeswoman said.

The Smithsonian designed the program to establish a stronger West Coast presence for the institution, the spokeswoman said.

Programs will vary by city. Ukiah residents will get lectures on American Indian easel painting and preservation of Art Deco diners, historic bridges and other American sites, and a concert of American folk songs and ballads.

A discussion of African-American photographers from the early 1900s to the present is among events scheduled for Fresno in October.

In Santa Ana and Irvine, King-Kok Cheung will deliver a free public keynote address exploring skills for living in a multiethnic society. Cheung is an associate professor with UCLA's department of English and its Asian American Studies Center.

Other Orange County activities have not been determined, but Bowers officials will help develop events there and plan to focus the four-day program around a Bowers exhibit of Mexican art from the 1920s through the 1990s, said Janet Baker, the museum's chief of education.

"It's very much a joint effort," Baker said. "We can draw upon local talent and expertise here."

Irvine city officials will help formulate activities in Irvine with input from representatives of UC Irvine, Irvine Valley College, the Orange County Multicultural Arts Council and the city's Intercultural Advisory Committee, said Toni Pang, cultural-affairs supervisor for Irvine.

Smithsonian educational personnel will conduct workshops "meant to give educators new ideas about teaching from a multicultural perspective" in each host city for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade teachers, according to the Smithsonian spokeswoman.

One teacher from each city will be chosen to take part in a training program at the Smithsonian. Orange County instructors have not been named.

Other cities hosting "Many Cultures--One Nation" are Sacramento, Riverside, San Bernardino, Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.

"Many Cultures--One Nation" is being presented by the Smithsonian Associates, the institute's cultural education and outreach division, which hopes to send the program to other states. The California Council for the Humanities and Wells Fargo Bank are helping sponsor the effort, and additional sponsors will be sought as the program develops, the spokeswoman said.

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