Our festival season always begins, appropriately, with a salute to our fantastic Lotus volunteers. The annual Lotus Volunteer Recognition Party celebrates a year’s worth of contributions from the women and men who do things like help 4th-graders make origami hats at the Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar, serve tapas at the Edible Lotus fundraiser, manage festival stages – and handle hundreds of other tasks, large and small, to make all of our programming possible. {Pictured above: only a few of the more than 500 volunteers who helped Lotus in the last year. Photo by Jeremy Hogan.}

“This was my first time experiencing the party,” says Executive Director Sunni Fass. “I was just blown away by the energy and esprit de corps. I’ve worked with volunteer-driven events in many other places, and nothing compares to the relationship between Lotus and its volunteers. We’ve got something really, really special happening here in Bloomington.”

Highlights from this year’s celebration:

  • Cindy Beaulé and Mitch Rice were recognized as Lotus’s first 20-year volunteer veterans. Cindy has done a little bit of everything over the years – including pulling a stint as our volunteer coordinator – and most recently, she’s been part of our artist relations team. (Cindy is an ace at last-minute airport runs.) Mitch has been a tried and true stage manager for every one of our first 20 festivals, and he’ll be on hand for #21, too. In recent years, he and his spouse, Eileen Rice, have participated in the springtime Bazaar, introducing hundreds of 4th-graders to American limberjack folk music traditions.
  • Spirit of Lotus awardees Sarah Noggle and Bob Flynn

    Spirit of Lotus awardees Sarah Noggle and Bob Flynn

    Our Spirit of Lotus awards went to Sarah Noggle and Bob Flynn. Sarah’s roles have included volunteer coordinator, house manager for festival venues, silent auction manager (and donor) for Edible Lotus, and design team member for 2013’s Power of Pattern backdrop project. Bob has been one of Lotus’s key behind-the-scenes tech gurus for more than five years, as well as a dedicated Edible Lotus busboy and one of the festival’s signage squad volunteers. Sarah and Bob embody the generosity and dedication of our volunteer corps.

  • We “unveiled” this year’s volunteer T-shirt design by illustrator Katie Vernon — and we love the image of busy bees around the Lotus hive. Look for Katie’s design on the red shirts that this year’s Festival volunteers will wear.

The festivities included fabulous food and drink from from Pizza X and Bloomington Brewing Co. – stalwart sponsors of Lotus volunteering for 2013-14. And we’d like to thank the other Spotlight Sponsors who supported our volunteers this year: Advantex Screen Printing; Cairril.com Design & Marketing; Beth Ellis, realtor; Bloom Magazine, and Team Väsen + Forever Frigg.

Volunteer CoLotusVolunteerT2014_back_red-webordinator Tamara Loewenthal was the event emcee, recognizing 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-year volunteers. “The warmth and commitment of our Lotus volunteers never fails to inspire,” she says. “They celebrated our mission and each other with the same enthusiasm they give to their work on our behalf. What a great group of people to work with!”

The 2014 Lotus World Music and Arts Festival is only a few months away —

And we’re (almost) ready for you to apply for your volunteer shift! The online application form goes live on July 1 – watch this site, and submit yours by August 12 to get priority consideration for your shift preferences.