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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
(Video by Emily Parrish)
Big Tent (US)
DREAM Bachata Academy (Dominican Republic)
Orchid Ensemble (Taiwan / Canada)
Wu Man (China)
Sones de México (Mexico)
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)
Charlotte Blake Alston (US)
Andes Manta (Ecuador)
Paul Taylor (Australia, US)
Rhonda & Sparky Rucker (US)
Jean-Paul Samputu (Rwanda)
Kiran Ahluwalia (India, Canada)
Nitta Oyako (Japan)
Paschal Younge & the West Virginia University African Ensemble (US)
Vusi Mahlasela (South Africa)
The Georgia Sea Island Singers (US)
Sones de México (Mexico)
Kevin Locke (US) Danú (Ireland)
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