Maybe it’s just us, but it feels like spring is already barreling toward summer. Our calendar is filling up, and we have lots of cool things to tell you….

  • Our annual benefit event, Edible Lotus, raised $14,000 for the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival and Lotus Blossoms outreach. Executive Director Sunni Fass says, “Edible Lotus is an awesome party. But it’s more than that: the net income from this event provides important financial support for the costs that underpin the programs Lotus offers free to the public.” Read more in our Edible Lotus re-cap, and check out the image gallery on our Facebook page.
  • Lotus is proud to co-sponsor the Ryder Film Series presentation of Sweet Dreams, an award-winning documentary about Rwanda’s only women’s drumming troupe, Ingoma Nshya. Through drumming together — and opening the country’s only ice cream shop, called Inzozi Nziza (“Sweet Dreams”) — they learn to build new relationships and heal the wounds of the past. “The most memorable thing about Sweet Dreams is that it allows us to experience the resilience, the capacity for happiness these women retain in spite of all they’ve been through” (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times). The film opens in Bloomington on May 17; find screenings dates and times here.
  • The first big visual arts project for this year’s Festival is the design and construction of large inflatable soft sculptures by students in IU’s 321/421 Textiles course, taught by Carissa Carman. The inflatables look fantastic – and we’ll see them in the Festival’s Arts Village in September. Peruse images from the opening exhibit of Lotus inflatables here.
  • Big thanks go to the dedicated Serve IT student volunteers from Indiana University who spent two semesters working with Outreach Director Loraine Martin to create a new outreach database for Lotus. Says Loraine, “They’ve brought all of our outreach data into one place, available to our staff. It’s a tremendous tool for us.”
  • The Mathers Museum of World Cultures and Traditional Arts Indiana are presenting “Remembering Lotus Dickey” on Tuesday, May 20, at 4pm. Lotus Dickey (1911-1989) was a traditional singer, songwriter, and fiddler from southern Indiana’s Orange County; he inspired a generation of performers, and was an inspiration for our Festival. Stephen and Nancy Dickey — son and daughter-in-law of Lotus — will perform songs from Lotus’s extensive songbook during this concert honoring his legacy. This free concert takes place at the Mathers Museum (416 N. Indiana). For more information, email mathers@indiana.edu or phone 812-855-6873.

Endowment

Development Director Kristin Varella met with one of our generous endowment donors earlier this spring. Dr. Keith B. Lyle has been coming to Bloomington for the Festival since 2005, and he’s been making gifts to the Lotus-Fitzgerald Endowment for almost that long. “To me, Lotus is a gift,” he says. “I want to pass it on to others, too.” Read more about Keith’s love of Lotus here.

Lotus commemorative T-shirts and letterpress posters are fab souvenirs for Lotus fans, but best of all, income from their sales goes directly to our endowment. They’re still available from the Lotus office.

Find out more about contributing to the Lotus-Fitzgerald Endowment here.

Calling All Sponsors

Lotus is now welcoming corporate sponsors for the 2014 Festival! If your business would like to support the arts in our community and become a partner in one of Bloomington’s premier events, please contact Lotus Development Director Kristin Varella at {kristin} {at} {lotusfest} {dot} {org} or 812-336-6599 for more information about sponsorship.