The 24th annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival will host an array of musical and artistic events this weekend. The festival's non-music events will include everything from poetry to yoga.
The festival will include the “Hear Here” poetry stage for the first time, where poets from the Writers Guild at Bloomington will perform poetry based on the topic of home, according to Lotus’ website.
Tony Brewer, chair of the Writers Guild at Bloomington said that the sense of home is global, in keeping with an international, multicultural festival.
"Cultures themselves come from a place, a location, even if that place physically or politically no longer exists, and cultures continue because people nurture them and express them no matter where they are in the world," Brewer said.
The “Hear Here” stage will be open for performances from 9:15 to 9:45 p.m. Friday, according to the event’s Facebook page.
From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, there will be free yoga at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, according to the festival's online schedule. Festival Unwind Yoga will be guided by teachers from various yoga studios around Bloomington, including Know Yoga Know Peace, Vibe Yoga, Ekah Yoga, Sacred Wellness Center, Samantha Eibling Yoga, and Touchstone Yoga & Massage.
WFHB World Music Director Adriene Pontecorvo said when she first moved to Bloomington, she didn't know Lotus existed. She said Lotus is so important because it showcases artists and art forms from all over the world, and that Bloomington is lucky to host the festival.
"It's such a kind of visceral way to learn about people and other cultures," she said.
The festival will also host a free art camp, which will have hands-on activities inspired by global traditions and local partners from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Third Street Park Saturday, according to Lotus' website.
These art activities will include limestone carving, Venezuelan basket weaving, tangram storytelling and mural painting.The park will also have food supplied by Bloomingfoods, including brats, veggie burgers and Kombucha, a fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks, on tap. The Chocolate Moose will be selling ice cream, according to the event's Facebook page.
After the opening concert on Sept. 28, there will be a live performance called “Life is Real: Lotus Dickey Cranky" by artist, volunteer and attendee Sam Bartlett with local young people from Rhino’s Youth Center.
According to the festival’s website, “Crankies are an old storytelling art form consisting of a long, illustrated scroll that is wound onto two spools and loaded into a box with a viewing screen. The scroll is hand-cranked while the story is told, brought to life with a song or tune." Festival attendees can also visit the “Cranky Experience Tent” from Sept. 29 to 30 at the arts village, on Walnut and Sixth streets.
The Buskirk-Chumley Theater will display the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival backdrop throughout the weekend, according to Lotus' website. The backdrop was created by Sooran Youn, a 2000 MFA graduate of IU School of Fine Arts originally from Seoul, South Korea.
Pontecorvo said the festival is a great way for people to broaden their horizons and try something new.
"It's super important on a human level to be better able to empathize and be part of a world community," she said.