2020 Lotus Community Puzzle Project

Made possible by a Sophia Travis Community Services Grant

The Lotus Community Puzzle Project will engage youth, their caretakers, and the wider community in Monroe County to create several collaborative large-scale puzzles, in the leadup to the 27th Lotus World Music & Arts Festival (Sept. 24 -27, 2020).

Puzzle pieces made of paperboard will fit together to make square and rectangular shapes that can be joined to make one large whole or several smaller units. Families and individuals of all ages have the opportunity to decorate a large puzzle piece with their personal artwork and/or with messages of hope for a more peaceful, more equitable world. 

In this time of physical distancing, creating art that brings the community together has never been more important. Local puzzle-maker Marc Tschida will cut the approximately 2,000 puzzle pieces that will be used to create these collaborative works.

Some completed puzzles will be displayed during the festival, and the final puzzles will be hung at the Lotus Firebay in early November when community members will be invited to view the exhibit and see how their contributions fit into the collective final piece. In the event of public health restrictions, the exhibit will be transformed into a virtual exhibit tour.

Participate in the project:

If you would like to create a puzzle piece for this exciting project. Please sign up HERE to receive a Lotus Outreach Kit that will include a puzzle piece for you to design.

Drop off your completed puzzle packet to one of the drop boxes at Bloomingfoods East or Near-West, Global Gifts, or Artisan Alley by October 16th for a chance to have your art featured in 

Alternatively, support USPS by mailing your puzzle to Lotus (PO Box 1667, Bloomington, IN 47402). 

Please consider taking a photo of you and your puzzle piece before returning it to Lotus. We would love to see you post the photo on social media with the hashtag #LotusWorldMusicFestival.

You are also welcome to email the photo to lydia@lotusfest.org.

Why Puzzles?

Puzzle pieces, like members of our community, are unique in shape, size, and color. This project celebrates the beauty represented by diverse points of view and life experiences. It complements Lotus’ ongoing mission while taking a local angle to highlight the diversity of individuals within our own community. The project is intended to support youth enrichment and the quality of life for local residents by providing an opportunity for creative expression and collaboration in a time of social-distancing.

Artist Partner

Marc Tschida is the founder of Bloomington, IN based Press Puzzles. A self-taught puzzle maker, he utilizes a scroll saw, laser cutter, and coping saw to cut intricate wooden jigsaw puzzles. Tschida began using a scroll saw in 2012 as a hobby and over four years grew his puzzle-making craft into a full-time job, working under the banner Press Puzzles. His scroll saw cut puzzles are included in the Slocum Puzzle Collection at Indiana University Lilly Library in Bloomington, IN, and at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY.  Tschida is also an alumnus and current instructor of puzzle making at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Franklin, IN.