In addition to our presenting sponsor, the Raymond Foundation — and the local businesses who step up to help underwrite our outreach – the Lotus Blossoms sponsor list includes many “Adopt-a-School” donors, all of whom want to help bring the Lotus experience of world music and arts into schools.

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This year, Adopt-a-School donations come from donors in ten states.

They are Lotus volunteers, former graduate assistants and board members, current board members and staff, and simply fans of the Festival who believe that bringing a little Lotus into a school can make a difference in the lives of our kids. Their contributions make up 45% of the total Lotus Blossoms budget.

D. Hutton

Deb Hutton (pictured above, in yellow shirt) volunteering at the Lotus Blossoms Bazaar

Deb Hutton is a Lotus Blossoms volunteer, a former board member, and a long-time Blossoms donor. As Assistant Director of IU’s Center for the Study of Global Change, she works with educators and students at IU and across the country to develop greater awareness of global issues in Indiana school curricula. “It’s easy for me to give to Blossoms and Adopt-a-School,” she says. “Since schools can’t up and travel the world, Blossoms is the next best thing, bringing the world’s music and cultures right to them. When a group of artists from another culture [for example, this year’s Los Llaneros, from Venezuela] performs on students’ home turf, you’ve got a dynamic and immediate experience of ‘world culture.’”

Los Llaneros

Los Llaneros at Marlin Elementary School, Lotus Blossoms 2008

One way Deb contributes to Blossoms is via a “giving group” – a cohort of friends and acquaintances brought together under one umbrella. “It’s fun,” says Deb, “and it feels worthy to give to Blossoms in common cause with friends. I also feel that that my humble contribution is magnified in the power of the giving group.”

Rwandan musician at Helmsburg

A Rwandan musician performs for students at Helmsburg Elementary School in Helmsburg, Indiana

Laura Hammack has seen the effects of a Lotus outreach program first hand. As an elementary school principal in Brown County and, now, a school system administrator in the Indianapolis suburb of Beech Grove, she has been instrumental in bringing Lotus Blossoms artists to her students. “A Blossoms performance instantly transforms the climate of a school. It leaves students and staff with new cultural and musical perspectives, and a rejuvenated spirit.” In 2007, while at Helmsburg Elementary School in rural Brown County, Laura scheduled a performance by Rwandan percussionist Jean-Paul Samptu and his ensemble for her students.

“Everyone was elated,” she recalls. “Lotus Blossoms changes a traditional school day and encourages students to continue to explore unfamiliar arts and cultures long after the performance is over. I support Lotus Blossoms as a donor because I’ve had the opportunity to witness the way this unique educational art programming has fundamentally changed the world view of boys and girls.”

See a complete list of Lotus Blossoms sponsors, donors, and giving groups here. You can be part of the Lotus Blossoms support team – just use the “Donate” button at left!