The Lotus Education & Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Bloomington, Indiana (est. 1994). Its mission is to create opportunities to experience, celebrate, and explore the diversity of the world’s cultures, through music and the arts.
All Lotus programming supports the institutional mission: the annual Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, Lotus Blossoms Educational Outreach, and Edible Lotus, as well as a vibrant Visual Arts program. Lotus also offers special programming and events with community partners throughout the year.
The Foundation’s flagship program is the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival. Established in 1994, the Festival is one of the oldest world music festivals in the U.S. and the only festival of its kind in the state of Indiana. Now in its 22nd year, it attracts more than 12,000 people to downtown Bloomington annually each fall, for 4-5 days of music and arts from around the globe. Through the Festival, Lotus creates – on a grand scale – the rare opportunity for audiences to experience places far removed from their everyday routines and to broaden their worldview through the arts.
Lotus is supported by a diverse funding base that includes individual contributors, business sponsors, foundation and governmental grants, and ticket revenues. The organization is named partly in honor of Indiana musician Quinten Lotus Dickey (1911-1989). His spirit of open inquiry into the music of cultures other than his own—and his gifts as a musician, singer, and songwriter — inspired the founders.