Lotus Blossoms

Lotus Blossoms is an annual four-week series of artist workshops and performances focused on outreach and education, via globally and culturally diverse music and arts experiences.

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Every spring, Lotus Blossoms connects students, families, and communities with performing artists from all over the globe. Serving South Central Indiana since its inception in 1996, Blossoms has reached more than 150,000 students and community members and has amplified the diverse voices of over 50 international artists.

A cornerstone of Lotus Blossoms programming is a focus on engagement with underserved urban and rural communities. These constituencies often lack access to people of diverse backgrounds and to multicultural experiences. By presenting global music and arts experiences, Lotus strives to inspire a love of diversity in these communities.

Through Lotus Blossoms’ programming, Lotus also serves populations that have limited opportunities to engage in in-person musical experiences, including those in retirement homes, preschools, detention centers, or economically disadvantaged communities.

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Lotus Blossoms
WORLD BAZAAR

The Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar is a free multicultural arts and education event for kids, families, and community members.

Volunteers from the Bloomington community (and around the world) present arts, music, language, and international crafts that let attendees get their hands on the world with more than 30 vibrant, high-energy activity stations. Grab your passport at the door and go! Visit our Facebook photo albums for snapshots of Bazaar fun.

 

The Friday edition of the Bazaar is open only to area 4th-graders, but Saturday’s Community Day is free and open to the public. If you are interested in having your school participate in Friday’s students-only Bazaar (offered free to schools), contact Lotus Executive Director Tamara Loewenthal at 812-336-6599 or tamara@lotusfest.org.

Created in 1996 with the help of area teachers, the Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar has become a tradition in Monroe County schools — public, private, and charter — as well as in our community.

 

The World Bazaar is generously hosted at Fairview Elementary School, located in Bloomington at 500 W 7th St.

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At the heart of Lotus Blossoms lies our spring residency program that connects world artists directly with children. Each year, Lotus hosts a roster of 5-8 global teaching artists who travel to perform in schools and classrooms across a multi-county area in south-central Indiana.  Musicians, dancers, and storytellers share their cultures and heritage with thousands of students through performances and interactive activities, and they field student questions about their lives, childhoods, and experiences.  For many students, especially in rural communities, an encounter with a Blossoms artist begins a lifetime of curiosity about the wider world — the first sounds of a different language, the first conversation with someone with a different skin color, the first glimpse of a broader horizon.  Want to bring an artist to your school?  Click here to learn more!

The second pillar of Lotus Blossoms is the annual Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar, a two-day “mini festival” that is now hosted at Fairview Elementary School in Bloomington.  Created in 1996 with the help of area teachers, the Bazaar has become a tradition in Monroe County schools — public, private, and charter — as volunteers from the Bloomington community (and around the world) present arts, music, language, and international crafts that let kids get their hands on the world. 

The first day of the Bazaar is just for schools, when Lotus buses in 1,000+ fourth-graders for a day of multicultural discovery. On the second day, the free Saturday World Bazaar Family Day welcomes children and families from across the community.

And Lotus Blossoms isn’t just for schools!  We partner with a range of social-service agencies to bring Blossoms to at-risk youth in our region, and we also connect artists with senior citizens, participants with developmental disabilities, and more.  Lotus also offers free community events with Lotus Blossoms visiting artists each spring.  From workshops and lectures to performance-based presentations, these events are open to the public and provide unique opportunities to meet top-notch artists from around the world in intimate settings.

Lotus Blossoms Impact Reports

20162017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2021

(Video by Emily Parrish)

Since 2001, more than 45 artists from 28 countries/areas of the world (including all continents except Antarctica) have visited students in south-central Indiana schools and our community.
2019
Adilei (Republic of Georgia)
Alash (Tuva)
Big Tent (US)
DREAM Bachata Academy (Dominican Republic)
Orchid Ensemble (Taiwan / Canada)
Sin-Isan (Thailand)
2017
Rahim AlHaj (Iraq)
Wu Man (China)
Samite (Uganda)
Sones de México (Mexico)
2015
Kuniko Yamamoto (Japan)
Seán Cleland & Jackie Moran (Ireland/US)
Sylvester Makobi (Kenya)
Aallotar (Finland, US)
Dirk Powell & Riley Baugus (US)
Jennifer Goodlander (US - Balinese Shadow Puppetry)
Kinobe & the Wamu Spirit (Uganda)
2013
Alash Ensemble (Tuva)
Charlotte Blake Alston (US)
Andes Manta (Ecuador)
2011
Dennis Stroughmatt (US)
Paul Taylor (Australia, US)
2009
Azaguno (US/Ghana)
2007
Andes Manta (Ecuador)
Rhonda & Sparky Rucker (US)
Jean-Paul Samputu (Rwanda)
Kiran Ahluwalia (India, Canada)
2005
Andes Manta (Ecuador)
Nitta Oyako (Japan)
Paschal Younge & the West Virginia University African Ensemble (US)
Vusi Mahlasela (South Africa)
2003
Paschal Younge & the West Virginia University African Ensemble (US)
The Georgia Sea Island Singers (US)
Huun-Huur-Tu (Tuva)
2001
Matapat (Québec)
Sones de México (Mexico)
Kevin Locke (US) Danú (Ireland)
2018
Kardemimmit (Finland)
Victor Gama (Angola)
Giri & Uma Peters (US)
Dance of Hope (Uganda)
Crosspulse Duo (US)
Radha Lakshmi (India - visual artist)
2016
Kim & Reggie Harris (US)
Kuniko Yamamoto (Japan)
Seán Cleland & Jackie Moran (Ireland/US)
Sylvester Makobi (Kenya)
2014
Genticorum (Québec)
Kalapriya (India, US)
Sogbety Diomande (Ivory Coast)
2012
Los Llaneros (Colombia, Venezuela)
Keith Terry and Evie Ladin (US)
2010
Moscow Nights (Russia/US)
Orchid Ensemble (Canada, China)
Vishtèn (Prince Edward Island/Magdalen Islands/Canada)
2008
Los Llaneros (Colombia, Venezuela)
Paul Taylor (Australia, US)
Rhonda & Sparky Rucker (US)
2006
Khac Chi (Vietnam)
Sones de México (Mexico)
Kevin Locke (US)
2004
Sones de México (Mexico)
Danú (Ireland)
Le Vent du Nord (Québec)
Salaam (US)
Kahraman Dance Ensemble (US)
2002
Chinese Folk Dance Company (China/US)
Harmonia (US/Hungary)
Karelian Folk Music Ensemble (Finland)
Morikeba Kouyate (Senegal)
Patrick Ball (US)

Thank You, 2021 Lotus Blossom Sponsors & Grantors!

Thank You, 2021 Lotus Blossom Donors!

Gates and Patricia Agnew
Charles and Kathy Aiken
Bridget Anderson
Robert Arnove
Geoff Bradley & Megan Ray
Lauren Bryant
Scott Burgins & Andrea Murray
Sandra Clark
Beth Ellis
Bob Flynn & Yvonne Wittmann
Jan Grant & David Lawler
Heidi Harmon & Joe Landfair
Brandi Host
Jillian Kinzie & Jo Throckmorton
Joyce Krothe
Laura Littlepage
Michael Litwin & Mary Blizzard

Gates and Patricia Agnew
Charles and Kathy Aiken
Bridget Anderson
Robert Arnove
Geoff Bradley & Megan Ray
Lauren Bryant
Scott Burgins & Andrea Murray
Tamara Loewenthal and Jamie Gans
Harold & Denise Ogren
Genevieve Pritchard
Andy & Barbara Qualls
Michael Shermis
Jennifer Riley Simone
Jerry & Brenda Stern
Peg Stice & Brice Adams
Ted Unwin
Patricia Waters
Martha Zuppann

Thank You, Monthly Donors!

Cindy Beaule
Duane Busick
Sunni Fass & Robert Gobin
Brandi Host
LeAnn Lipe
Mary McCarty & David Mann
Ellen Plummer & James Spencer

Laura Plummer & Mike Nelson
Robert & Marie Shakespeare
Leah Shopkow
Esther Millen Smail
Eliot & Pamela Smith
Allyson Triplett

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.

NOTES &
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