“Lotus took me from being a student to being a community member and Lotus advocate,” says volunteer Lizzie Plant.

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When I’m not a Lotus volunteer, I’m . . .

Assistant unit director at the Ellettsville Boys and Girls Club. I also work with the children’s ministry at the Evangelical Community Church (my church), and hang out with my dog, Miss Bingo, and my husband, David Plant.

My first Lotus volunteer gig was . . .

when I was a junior in college, and I approached Lotus about volunteering. I hadn’t experienced the festival, so LuAnne [Holladay, Lotus’s Assistant Director] encouraged me to help with Lotus Blossoms. I helped out with the Bazaar that year, and then was an office volunteer for the 2008 festival.

Last summer, Lizzie interned in the Lotus office during festival prep season. She was Keeper of Dry Erase Markers (among many other things).

The best thing about being a Lotus volunteer is . . .

I love the Lotus volunteer community. The volunteers are prepared to do anything, and the staff really knows how to show their appreciation. I love Lotus’s mission, and I get to live it out as a volunteer.

My most memorable moment as a Lotus volunteer was . . .

when I got to be an artist liaison for Lotus Blossoms last year. Anita [DeCastro, former Lotus graduate assistant] and I were chaperones for Vishtèn, who are my all-time favorite Lotus artists and who I had discovered at that year’s festival. I can’t lie – I was slightly star-struck. We got to have lunch and then watch them perform for the kids, and seeing the school children react to the performance was amazing.

Lizzie's husband, David Plant, helps out at the Lotus Blossoms Bazaar

Blossoms and the Bazaar are much more specialized. It really gives you a front-row seat to what Lotus does to further its mission. It’s a lot of fun and very high-energy, especially at the Friday Bazaar. I’ve worked as a “bus wrangler,”, and you can see how the kids are really excited going in and even more excited coming out. You see kids engage with the world through music and the arts, and it’s incredible to witness. When I walk away from my volunteer shift at Blossoms, I feel energized.

Aside from Lotus, I also volunteer for . . .

I’ve been involved with the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, mainly during grad school, and it was great to see Lotus from that perspective — a venue prepared for the festival. But Lotus is my main squeeze right now.

Young explorers visit Family Day at the Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar

If I could give one piece of advice to future Lotus volunteers, it would be . . .

Be willing to do anything. Everyone should volunteer for the festival; you get to meet new people and see live music, and once you become a volunteer you don’t want to stop. Being a Lotus volunteer has really changed my life, especially because it has given me a greater sense of belonging in the Bloomington community. Lotus took me from being a student to being a community member and Lotus advocate. I even roped my husband, David, into it and now he’s a devoted Lotus volunteer too. So just take the first step and do it!

Want to find out more about volunteering for Lotus? See the Volunteer section of our site, or subscribe to our Volunteer mailing list (see right column).