UNI collaborates with ISU’s Leopold Center and Waterloo Center for the Arts for ‘VANG’ performance

Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Jodie Huegerich, local food program manager, UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education, 319-273-7883,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE), UNI Department of Languages and Literatures, UNI Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center (EMBARC), Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Waterloo Center for the Arts will present “VANG,” a two-person documentary play, at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11, in the Law Court Theatre at the Waterloo Center for the Arts.

“VANG,” written by Mary Swander, tells the story of four immigrant family farmers by weaving together photographs and transcript interviews of families who are actively making farming and agriculture a part of their new lives in the U.S. Swander is a fourth-generation Iowan, Poet Laureate of Iowa and a professor of English at Iowa State University. She worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Dennis Chamberlin and Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival award-winner Matt Foss to create “VANG.”

The program is free and open to the public. A suggested donation of $5 or new/gently used garden tools are appreciated and will go to the Community Producers program to raise start-up funds for the local community garden and farmers market stand this summer.

The doors will open at 1 p.m., and a plated Burmese meal will be available for purchase at Laughing Tree Café before and after the play. Chef Ah Lei, aspiring restaurant owner and refugee from Burma, will create the meal that includes a samosa, sesame ball, noodles and vegetable salad. There will also be a backstrap weaving demonstration by Karenni Kayaw mother/daughter duo Kyawt Mu and Day Leh. Woven goods will also be available for purchase including scarves and traditional school bags that mothers would weave for their children in Burma, Malaysia and Thailand.

For more information, contact Jodie Huegerich, local food program manager at UNI CEEE, at 319-273-7883 or