Lotus Volunteer Committees

Our Lotus committees devote extra volunteer time to help plan and execute particular aspects of the Lotus Festival.  Committee volunteers take a leadership role in helping staff ensure that infrastructure needs are carefully thought out in advance, that necessary acquisitions are made, and that the best procedures and guidelines are in place for both volunteers and patrons.  Time commitments vary by committee; in general, committees start meeting in the months or weeks prior to the Festival, and members have tasks during Festival weekend as well as during event follow-up.

Interested in getting involved as a Lotus Committee member?  Please review the Committee summaries below to learn more about what each group does, and then contact Tamara Loewenthal (tamara@lotusfest.org) to discuss your interests.

Artist Relations Committee

The Artist Relations Committee is responsible for ensuring the welfare and comfort of artists during their stay at the Lotus Festival, including all aspects of feeding, shuttling, and housing them.  This committee:

  1. Procures snack, drinks, and ice for venues and arranges catering for meals.
  2. Provides a welcoming space for artists, wherein they may eat meals and relax.  This includes decorating and arranging the space.
  3. Arranges for internal Festival transportation, via renting vans and staffing a shuttle service.
  4. Coordinates Artist After-Parties.

During the Festival, the committee sets up the hospitality space and orients volunteers to their duties onsite.  After the Festival, the committee helps break down the space and returns items borrowed for the event.

Festival Support Committee

The Festival Support Committee is responsible for assisting the Volunteer Coordinator in recruiting, training, and managing volunteers for the Lotus Festival, including tabling events and running festival orientations.  This committee:

  1. Implements volunteer recruiting strategies.
  2. Maintains the online volunteer application system, database, and supporting materials.
  3. Evaluates and refines the volunteer recruitment process.
  4. Develops and conducts (i.e, staffs) the Festival orientations.
  5. Supports the volunteer coordinator in volunteer stewardship.

During the Festival, committee members perform various leadership roles, such as House Managing and on-site training.  After the Festival, the committee evaluates the effectiveness of all recruitment, training, and volunteer performance.

Streets Committee

The Streets Committee is responsible for facilitating on-site Festival logistics outside of the actual performance venues, from planning through Tear Down.  This committee:

  1. Assists Lotus Staff and the Venues Committee on the overall street- closing plan.
  2. Acts as liaison to city authorities on many points of concern and is responsible for distributing advance notice to property owners, residents, and businesses along streets and alleys impacted by festival venues and activities, including the parades.
  3. Arranges for and/or manages most necessary equipment and services outside of the venues, such as traffic signs and barriers, trash/recycling, port-a-potties, etc.

During the Festival, the committee sets and removes the barriers used to close and open streets and alleys, as required.  After the Festival, the committee is responsible for returning all borrowed/rented equipment and coordinates with Venues/Tear Down to plan and facilitate such returns.

Venues Committee

The Venues Committee is responsible for identifying the physical needs of Festival venues and creating/managing a plan for Festival Set Up and Tear Down.  This committee:

  1. Helps to plan for the equipment needs of each venue, including electricity, lighting, staging, fencing, and barricades.
  2. Manages volunteers who move the necessary equipment and supplies to each venue.
  3. Oversees Festival Set Up, such as erecting smaller tents, building stages, loading and unloading PAs, putting up fencing and barricades.
  4. Arranges for phones and electrical connections, where necessary.
  5. Acquires two-way radios and cell phones for intra-festival use.
  6. Members are “on call” during the Festival, in case of an emergencies.
  7. Oversees Tear Down of venues at the conclusion of the Festival and the returning of Lotus-owned items to the warehouse where they are stored.

During the Festival, the committee members are on-call to assist with any physical on-site emergencies.  After the Festival, committee members lead the Venues Tear Down and facilitate materials returns.

Visual Arts Committee

The Visual Arts Committee is responsible for assisting the Outreach Director in coordinating the various projects designed for the Arts Village, and any other exhibits or installations that are envisioned for the Lotus Festival. This committee:

  1. Contributes 25-30 hours pre-festival (meetings, project preparations, etc.). Committee members must attend meetings (~2x/month) and do associated work outside those meetings, including more as needed closer to the festival.
  2. Assists with workshop preparations and events/projects as available. Every committee member needs to assist with Visual Arts projects outside of meetings. This can be construction of materials to be included in the Arts Village, etc.
  3. Is involved with setting up, supervising, and/or taking down the Arts Village during the festival.

During the Festival, the committee members supervise and set up the Arts Village. After the Festival, committee members lead the Arts Village Tear Down and facilitate materials returns.

Backline Committee

The Backline Committee is responsible for sourcing items and facilitating logistics for all non-PA equipment and instruments required by artists for a successful festival performance, according to artist riders.  This committee:

  1. Organizes artist backline rider requests to develop a master list of items needed. Chair works with Lotus staff to ensure that the committee is in possession of the most up-to-date riders.
  2. Identifies and confirms loan commitments for as much gear as possible, from networks and contacts including local musicians, organizations, school music programs, and other sources. (Historically, for any given year, Lotus has fulfilled 80-100% of its backline needs via loans.)
  3. Provides timely status updates and recommendations to Lotus staff, including assisting with backline troubleshooting.
  4. Coordinates schedule for receiving and returning loaned gear.
  5. Coordinates master backline schedule for Festival weekend, including the timing and transportation of gear to and between venues. Ensures TLC of loaned and rented gear.
  6. Makes recommendations to Volunteer Coordinator about the numbers, shifts, and responsibilities for backline volunteers to be recruited from the general corps. Makes stage manager recommendations if appropriate.

During the Festival, the Backline Committee members take a leadership role in accurately executing the backline schedule, including moving gear around to various venues and assisting with set changes, supported by stage managers and the general corps of backline volunteers.  The Chair also serves as the point-person for backline-related troubleshooting and communication throughout the weekend.  After the Festival, the committee assists with returning all gear back to a central storage location and ultimately back to owners or vendors.

Merchandise Committee

The Merchandise Committee is responsible for setting up, organizing, and overseeing the Lotus Festival Store.  With nearly $30,000 in sales from Artist CDs, Festival T-shirts, pins, books, hats, etc, the Festival Store is open during Friday and Saturday evening of the Festival.  There is a small Merch table at Thursday’s opening concert, Saturday’s Lotus in the Park, and Sunday’s closing concert at the BCT.  The Festival store may be located inside a downtown storefront building or in a tent on a closed Festival street.  This committee:

  1. Sets up store (checking in Artist CD’s, displaying merch, organizing t-shirts).
  2. Manages & Trains Volunteers when they arrive for shift.
  3. Serves on-site to problem-solve and be fully knowledgeable on Point of Sale system (will be trained prior to opening of store).
  4. Closes down Merchandise store night of event (Store runs until midnight).

Time responsibility includes approximately two meetings (Aug, early Sept) and then the weekend of the Festival, as well as a debriefing meeting in October.  Lotus staff is responsible for the ordering of all inventory, as well as securing the location and equipment for the store.

Accessibility Committee
(this committee is currently full)

The Accessibility Committee is responsible for ensuring Lotus’s commitment to providing arts programs that are accessible to audiences of all ages and abilities.  This committee:

  1. Assesses programming venues for conformity with the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  2. Trains volunteers to be knowledgeable and available to assist patrons at workshops and the Festival with directions and information about venue access.
  3. Works to deepen Lotus’s commitment to accessibility by brainstorming additional avenues for inclusivity (hearing advancement devices, interpreters, etc.).

The Committee meets throughout the summer leading up to the Festival and after the Festival to determine areas for improvement and strategies for moving forward.

Non-Festival Committees:

The Bazaar Committee is responsible for assisting the Outreach Director in planning, organizing, and overseeing the activities of the annual Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar.  Created in 1996 with the help of area teachers, the Bazaar has become a tradition in Monroe County schools — public, private, and charter — as well as in our community. It is a two-day, free multicultural arts and education event with volunteers from the Bloomington community (and around the world) presenting arts, music, language, and international crafts that let youth and families get their hands on the world with more than 30 vibrant, high-energy activity stations.  This committee:

  • Contributes 25-30 hours for pre-Bazaar meetings, executing the Bazaar, and post-Bazaar review discussions.
  • Meetings begin four months in advance of Bazaar (typically last weekend of March/early April) with 1x a month (November/December) and then 2x a month (January-early March), and as needed.
  • Attends meetings and does follow up work outside of meetings related to duties assigned.
  • Contacts organizations/community members to present an activity station (presenters). Serves as main contact for the presenters they are assigned, as well as an ambassador for the Bazaar to the community and Lotus constituents.
  • Has a defined volunteer role during the Bazaar and is involved with setting up, supervising, and/or tear down at the Bazaar.