To celebrate the 500+ fabulous folks who make the Festival possible, we kick off Festival Volunteer Season by highlighting some favorite memories as shared by the volunteers profiled in our “Lotus Lovers Who Light Up Lives” series.

Judy Farnsworth
How would you describe to a friend why they should attend or volunteer for the Lotus Festival?
It’s a great way to connect with happy people doing creative things.

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Kevin Bird
Which volunteer experiences have you most enjoyed?  Why?
The artist liaison airport runs – they gave me the opportunity to have interesting conversations with artists.

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Teri Watkins
How did you first hear about the Lotus organization?
I was downtown having dinner with friends and heard some wonderful music. Being naturally curious about it, I went to find it and found a big tent and parade. The next spring, I signed up at the Farmers Market booth to become a part of Lotus.

 

What is your favorite Lotus moment?
I have two favorite memories: The first was dancing during Red Baarat, with three friends. We were at the back of tent, and people we didn’t know kept joining in. By end of the song we had 20 people all dancing, hugging and laughing.  The second: Brandi and I were tearing down the Merchandise tent at 1 am, and Lee was nearby, when members of Hudsucker Posse walked by and encouraged him to try it. Lee Williams, trying to hula-hoop: a picture that will remain in my mind forever.

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LuAnne Holladay
Which volunteer experiences have you most enjoyed?  Why?
Hard to choose; I love my cohorts on the Bazaar Committee — it’s a great group of people, and we get to bring a little Lotus into the lives of about 1,500 grade-school kids, and that’s a blast. Helping out during the Festival — well, I’ve been doing that for 20 years now.  It’s hard to imagine not being part of the Lotus team in some way.

 

How would you describe to a friend why they should attend or volunteer for the Lotus Festival?
Why attend? Because there’s nothing else like it in Bloomington, or Indiana, or the Midwest, or maybe even the country: beautiful performances by amazing, talented people from around the world, right in downtown Bloomington. Lotus transforms our downtown into a little global village of arts and music and goodwill.  I’m proud to be part of the team that makes that happen

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Kevin Atkins
What initially inspired you to volunteer for our organization?
In 1998 I got my first digital camera…  and went from taking maybe 10-20 photos a year to taking thousands.  I was also dabbling in web work, and thought I might be of some use, taking photos and getting them online quickly, so in 1999 I asked Lee if it would be OK, and he was all like “OK, I guess, don’t get in the way.”

What is your favorite Lotus moment?
There have been SO many!  Spending two days with Trio Brasiliero a few years ago was really fun, they are such beautiful men…  Hanging out with the Matapat and Le Vent du Nord guys when they were here for Lotus, and Blossoms, getting lattes at Soma with Tamara.  Shooting in the intimate setting of the WFHB studios during interviews.  But, still, my favorite is 2002, Waldron Arts Center, upstairs, Miguel Poveda flamenco.  Me, on the floor in the aisle with my Olympus C3040z, looking through the tiny viewfinder, tears streaming down my face from the beauty and sadness in the dancer’s performance.  I had NO IDEA what flamenco was until then.

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Crystal Ritter
Which volunteer experiences have you most enjoyed?  Why?    
I love being a part of the Venues Committee because I get to work with such amazingly talented people! Everyone on the committee brings something different to the table. Watching everything come together in a day and then disappear in a few hours is amazing. There is no way it could happen without all of the wonderful volunteers that I get the privilege to work with. There are always problems that come up but we always work together to find a solution. Serving on this committee has taught me so much.

How would you describe to a friend why they should attend or volunteer for the Lotus Festival?
You should volunteer for Lotus because sharing music and the arts with our community can do nothing but benefit our community. Lotus brings our community together to celebrate all the things that make Bloomington special and unique. Volunteering for even just a shift contributes to that.

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Luci McKean
What initially inspired you to volunteer for our organization?
I was broke!  Having the opportunity to “work for my supper” was a delight, when so many events are simply closed to those who cannot afford the ticket.  The Lotus has always been wonderful about providing other opportunities for people to get the goods in a completely legit, reasonable manner.  I still volunteer today even though I could afford the ticket because I have so much fun doing it.

What volunteer jobs have you performed?
Sites setup, from the beginning!  My first year volunteering, I picked up a crescent wrench to set up risers, and I was hooked. I was asked to join the Sites committee after that first year, and I’ve helped organize Sites every year since then. I tell everyone it’s the best Lotus volunteer gig to have because (a) it’s a wonderful group of humans to work with, and (b) we get almost all our work done before the festival happens, so we’re mostly free to enjoy all the music we can fit in. (The shifts for regular setup volunteers are all in advance or teardown after the show is over. While committee members put in extra hours planning and being on-call during the Festival, we get some extra perks that make those additional hours worthwhile.)

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Julie Lawson
How would you describe to a friend why they should attend or volunteer for the Lotus Festival?
They should do both.  Working a volunteer shift, you meet wonderful people, and learn to appreciate the music even more because you know what makes the festival tick.  The music, sights as well as sounds, the street scene is horizon-expanding and simply joyful.

 


Volunteer for the Festival now to begin creating your very own behind-the-scenes memories!