Executive Director Tamara Loewenthal outside the Lotus Firebay on Rogers Street. Photo by Rodney Margison

Editor’s note: The following is a press release from the Lotus Education & Arts Foundation. Bloom has republished it here in its entirety with edits for style and clarity

This November, The Lotus Education & Arts Foundation will offer free lantern-making workshops through The Lotus Lantern & Luminaria Project.

This project will educate the community about lantern traditions in different parts of the world, where people of different cultures and backgrounds observe the longer nights of the calendar year with celebrations of light.

The workshops will provide free instructions and materials for building various kinds of lanterns and luminaria that represent multiple cultural traditions, culminating with a public lantern walk and display to run throughout the month of December.

“We hope this project encourages residents and business owners to beautify and brighten the city of Bloomington, inviting community members to learn more about other cultures’ traditions and to celebrate their own, too,” says the organization in a press release.

In-person, physically distanced Wooden Lantern Workshops at the Lotus Firebay and web-based lantern tutorials will spread knowledge within the community, and all materials will be completely free of charge. In addition to public workshops, Lotus will also host a lantern-making workshop for children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington.

Those interested in participating in one of the Lotus Wooden Lantern Workshops can reserve a spot here, through Eventbrite. The physically distanced workshops will take place at the Lotus Firebay, 105 S. Rogers St., on November 14 and 21 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and on November 16 and 17 at 5:30 p.m.

People who would like to create their lanterns and luminaria at home may pick up supplies up at the Lotus Firebay. At-home participants are encouraged to share photos of themselves working on their projects on Facebook (@LotusEducationAndArtsFoundation) and Instagram (@lotusindiana). Photos may also be emailed to [email protected]

“I grew up making lanterns, doing annual lantern walks, and singing lantern songs,” Lotus Executive Director Tamara Loewenthal says. “I am so excited to see Lotus bringing this activity to the Bloomington community, and I hope this is just the start of a grand new tradition.”

“We’re excited to explore a few of the many lantern and luminaria traditions from around the globe and create an opportunity for public art during a challenging winter,” adds Community & Arts Engagement Director Lydia Campbell-Maher.

For more information, to donate to the Lotus Education & Arts Foundation, or to arrange a physically-distanced pick-up of materials, visit lotusfest.org.