Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lotus World Music & Arts Festival

The 16th annual Lotus World Music & Arts Festival will take place 24-27 September in Bloomington.

The first Lotus was in 1994 (three small venues downtown; about 800 people attended). It was launched by a handful of people on the local music scene, including James Combs, (a rock musician in a band called Arson Garden), Shahyar Daneshgar (a classically trained musician from Teheran who had settled in Bloomington), and Lee Williams (a booking agent).

The first festival committee thought about calling the event the Bloomington World Music and Arts Festival, but decided to go with “Lotus” instead for two main reasons. 1) The lotus flower grows all over the globe (including Lake Lemon in Monroe County); it expresses beauty and universality. 2) Many of the festival planners had known the Orange County old-time musician Lotus Dickey (1911-1989). Lotus was a kind, curious, talented, and generous musician, and that spirit was something the planners wanted to capture with the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival.

The festival is organized by the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation – a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with a staff of three full-time people and many volunteers.


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