The Lotus Festival schedule is packed! From performances with artists to interactive art exhibits. There’s something for every person of every age. The best part? So many Festival events are free, thanks to donors, sponsors, and all the volunteers that bring it together. Here are some of the free activities happening at Lotus Festival next week. Hope to see ya dancing in the streets!

1. Cicada Song – A Workshop/Demonstration of Music and Culture of the Dong (Kam) People of Southwestern China

Thursday, Sept. 26, 5:00 PM-6:00 PM
    Mathers Museum of World Cultures | 416 N. Indiana Ave.

Hosted by ethnomusicologist Mu Qian and performed by the Yandong Grand Singers, this workshop/demonstration will showcase Dong songs and their contexts, such as courting songs performed as part of young people’s social events. The musicians will also teach participants to sing songs like the Cicada Song, in which the singers imitate the flickering of cicadas’ wings with quick sextuplets. The event will be free and open to the public.

2. Lotus in the Meadow with 47Soul

Thursday, Sept. 26, 9:00 PM-11:00 PM
    Dunn Meadow, corner of Indiana and 7th St.

For the first time in 20 years, Lotus is kicking off the festival with a free performance in Dunn Meadow, with Jordanian/Palestinian group 47Soul bringing us their upbeat, dance-y “shamstep” sound. It’s a perfect concert to show students just what Lotus has in store! Bring your friends and dance until the night ends!

3. Festival Arts Village

Friday -Saturday, Sept. 27-28, 6:00 PM-10:00 PM
        6th St, between Walnut & Washington

The Arts Village is one of the best ways for adults to get just as engaged with the arts as kids would in the park! This year’s Arts Village has an interactive art exhibit along with different arts and crafts projects for everyone. You can find me using the hula hoops!

4. Lotus in the Park

Saturday, Sept. 28, 12:00 PM-5:00 PM
        3rd St. Park, 331 S.\ Washington St.

Lotus in the Park is the best way to bring your whole family to the festival! Not only does it have performances by Lotus artists, but it also has an Art Camp, with various art and education stations suitable for kids of all ages. Be sure to grab an ice cream cone from Chocolate Moose while you’re there!

5. Festival Unwind Yoga

Saturday, Sept. 28, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM                                       Sunday, Sept. 29, 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
First Presbyterian Church, Lyman Hall                            Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Rose Firebay

Bringing a bit of relaxation to the festivities of Lotus, different yoga instructors from local studios team up to lead yoga sessions throughout the festival. Students of all levels are invited to participate! Find a bit of zen in between your festival evenings! Voluntary donations support educational outreach program Lotus Blossoms.

6. Connecting Borders Community Celebration

Saturday, Sept. 28, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
       Far Center for Contemporary Arts, 505 W. 4th St.

Participate in an interactive workshop with Frontera Bugalú, learning rhythms of “border folk” music, along with some choruses to songs touching on social issues experienced by those who live on the Mexico/US border. This is a bilingual program in Spanish and English.

7. Lotus in the Streets – IU Marching Hundred Drumline

Saturday, Sept. 28, 8:40 PM-9:00 PM
       Kirkwood Ave. & Monroe County Courthouse Square

Back and banging their drums, the Indiana University Marching Hundred Drumline is performing for the Lotus crowd, bringing incredible beats that you can’t help but listen to. Make sure you stop and cheer them on at the festival!

8. Songwriting Workshop with Sofía Viola & Dat Garcia
Sunday, September 29 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
       Monroe County Public Library | 303 E. Kirkwood Ave., Meeting Room 1C – REGISTRATION REQUIRED

All women and non-binary people are invited to learn songwriting from Lotus artist Sofía Viola with Dat Garcia on her debut U.S. tour. This is a bilingual program in Spanish and English, limited capacity, for women ages 12+. Instruments are not required, but encouraged. Register here.