Asian refugees who fled their homeland to make new homes in Iowa celebrate 25 years of freedom with a rally in Des Moines this weekend. Iowa Arts Council “folk art” coordinator Riki Saltzman says there is special programming for school groups today, with a festival tomorrow.When the communists took over Southeast Asia with the fall of Saigon in the spring of 1975, refugees began fleeing and flowing into many countries. The U-S government began an airlift campaign, which brought many new residents to Iowa. She says refugees have continued to come into Iowa from all over the world since the first groups came here in the 1970’s.Saltzman says the refugees have contributed to Iowa’s economic prosperity and cultural diversity in business, education, tourism, agriculture, science, medicine and the arts. This festival aims to celebrate it all.
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