The Lotus Education & Arts Foundation is proud to announce that we are making our Lotus Blossoms study guides available to the public for the very first time. This means that parents and teachers interested in providing their children with in-depth knowledge about cultures from around the world, through the lens of music and art, will have a fantastic and free new resource.

Lotus Blossoms is our annual four-week intensive outreach program that brings world musicians and artists to south-central Indiana every spring. Each year, Lotus staff and interns create study guides that are sent to the K-12 schools where our visiting artists perform and lead workshops.

Lotus Blossoms: Kalapriya South Asian dancers of Chicago.

Like many other organizations, Lotus had to cancel our Blossoms programming just one week before it was to begin. As part of our creative response to the cancellations caused by COVID-19, we are making our study guides available to the public for the first time ever.

“Because students won’t be able to experience Lotus Blossoms artists in person this year, we wanted to provide a way to use the materials we have prepared to connect Lotus Blossoms artists to students and audiences of all ages virtually,” Lotus Graduate Assistant Katie Bethel said. “These study guides can serve as an educational resource, or just a chance to escape into engaging and high-quality art and world cultures.”

The Lotus mission is to create opportunities to experience, celebrate, and explore the diversity of the world’s cultures through music and the arts. In 2019, Lotus staff hosted focus groups with local area educators to ask how Lotus could better serve K-12 students. Many educators noted that students benefitted from stronger connections with visiting Lotus artists. Lotus listened and decided to make the experiences for students stronger by not only scheduling performances but by scheduling artists to visit classrooms, give talks about their lives and cultures, and practice songs with the children before the performance so that they could participate.

The study guides are another way that Lotus adds value to students’ learning experience, offering a deeper connection with visiting artists for a more thorough understanding of their work. The guides provide information about the people, language, foods, and customs of the artist’s culture. Additionally, the guides provide beautiful imagery and links to the artist’s music.

Lotus Blossoms: Adilei performs at Child’s Elementary.

“We are so pleased to be able to share our 2020 Blossoms artist study guides with our wider Lotus family,” says Executive Director Tamara Loewenthal. “While COVID-19 has made live performances impossible this spring, we believe that the study guides will help fill the void that students and their families are experiencing in regard to arts enrichment activities.”

The study guides can be found on the Lotus website, under the education tab. It is our pleasure to share these, especially during a time when so many parents are acting as teachers for their children.