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.

Lotus puzzle and still from film

  • 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 or phone 812-855-6873.

Making flags


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.

Photo panels, from top:
Inflatable Lotus sculpture; Edible Lotus program. Lotus puzzle, designed by Marc Tschida for the Edible Lotus auction; still from the film Sweet Dreams. Making Lotus friendship flags at Edible Lotus.

2013 Lotus World Music and Arts Festival presented by
Indiana University Bloomington and Bloomingfoods, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Corporate Sponsorship support from BEAD, the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District; Bloom Magazine; Carey Worldwide Chauffeured Services; the Efroymson Family Fund; IU Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President; IU Office of the VP for Public Affairs and Government Relations; Ivy Tech Community College; Medical Friends of Lotus; Organized Living; and Visit Bloomington. With additional support from the Arts Midwest Performing Arts Fund, the Bloomington Arts Commission, the Indiana Arts Commission and Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington, and the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County.

Your contributions, large and small, make our work possible. When you donate to Lotus, you commit to helping foster the love of the diversity of the world’s cultures in South Central Indiana. There are many ways to donate to Lotus. Click “Donate” for more information.