Past Events

Maracatu Brazilian Carnival Banner Making Community Workshop
Sunday, September 9; 1 to 3 p.m.
Visitors made a Maracatu Brazilian Carnival inspired banner for the 25th Lotus World Music & Arts Festival! They also learned about this tradition with an introduction to Maracatu cultural customs by Lotus Festival artist Dr. Colleen Haas. An accomplished percussionist, teacher, and ethnomusicologist, Dr. Colleen Haas specializes in Brazilian music and is the lead artist for this year’s Lotus Summer Visual Arts Outreach program, including several free workshops during Festival weekend with Women of Mass Percussion.

Mathers Museum at First Thursdays (at Fine Arts Plaza) - Thursday, September 6, 5 to 7:30 p.m.
The Mathers Museum booth at First Thursdays featured crafts and activities highlighting animals. The event was free and open to the public, and sponsored by IU’s Arts and Humanities Council.

Curator’s Talk: “Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art, and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins” - Thursday, August 30, 4:30 p.m.
Kristin Otto, the curator of “Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art, and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins,” discussed the form and function of the Ghanaian fantasy coffin. Otto, a MMWC Research Associate and Ph.D student (Anthropology), and also noted the ways in which fantasy coffins are made and the cultural roles they serve.  The event was free and open to the public, and was sponsored by Themester 2018, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

Tie Dye Drop-In at the Mathers Museum - Wednesday, August 22, 4 p.m.
Tie Dye and its connection to the Mathers Museum’s 1967 House, as well as Ghanaian culture was celebrated. The event was free and open to the public, and was sponsored by IU’s Office of First Year Experiences.

Welcome Week Open House Open House - Friday, August 17, 1 to 2:45 p.m.
Tours of the museum were presented during Indiana University Welcome Week.

Creative Aging Closing Reception - Friday, July 20, 3 to 4:30 p.m.
The work of elder artists and the exploration of the importance of stories and storytelling in the lives of older adults were highlighted in "Creative Aging Closing Program and Reception." The free event featured a ukulele performance of elders from Bell Trace; a narrative stage with artists Marian Sykes, Jenny Kander, Bob Taylor, and Bill Root; and a special remembrance of local elder James Yang, whose work was included in the exhibition.

Family Craft Day: Puerto Rico - Sunday, April 29, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Puerto Rico and its cultural heritage and traditions was presented through hands-on activities.

LatinXpo: A Look at Latin America - Friday, April 27; 5 to 9 p.m.
The LatinXpo: A Look at Latin America was a showcase dedicated to sharing the many facets and faces of expressive culture from Latino and Latin American people to the local community. The Expo will demonstrate a variety of expressive culture from Latina/o artists.

Elder Creativity Showcase - Saturday, April 14; 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Artists featured in the exhibit "Creative Aging," an exhibit at the MMWC that explores the making and use of memory art in the lives of older adults, presented demonstrations and discussed the ways in which art, craft, creativity, and aging intersect. The event was free and open to the public.

Bridges: Children, Languages, World - Saturdays, February 3 to April 14
1:30 to 2:15 p.m., Introductory Arabic
This award-winning language program for children provided free instruction in languages for Pre-K through 2nd grade students. The program was supported by IU’s School of Global and International Studies, the Center for the Study of the Middle East, the Center for the Study of Global Change, the East Asian Studies Center, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, and the Russian and East European Institute.

Creative Aging - Friday, April 13, 4:30 p.m.
Jon Kay, Director of Traditional Arts Indiana and Curator of Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the MMWC, will discuss his research and study of creativity and aging. Kay is the author of Folklife and Aging: Life-Story Objects and Their Makers. The event will be free and open to the public.

Madame Gandhi - Tuesday, April 10, 2018
A free lecture by Madame Gandhi--rapper, drummer, electronic music artist, and feminist activist--was presented as part of "India Remixed," IU's 2018 Global Arts and Humanities Festival.

Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar Family Day - Saturday, April 7, 2018
MMWC presented hands-on crafts and acitivities at the Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar--a multicultural arts-and-education event for kids and families.

First Thursdays (at Showalter Arts Plaza) - Thursday, April 5, 2018 p.m.
Visitors participated in a MMWC "Heads and Tales," photo booth. The event was free and open to the public.

Respectful Return and Repose - Monday, March 26, 2018
Melanie O'Brien, National NAGPRA Program Manager, spoke on "Respectful Return and Repose."

Rules for the (R) Evolution of Museums - Thursday, March 22, 2018
What does it take for museums to transform themselves into culturally-sensitive, socially engaged, active institutions within a community? How does the role of the museum professional contribute to an activist orientation for museums? Dr. Elee Wood prseented a series of key strategies for museums and museum practitioners that emphasize community engagement, participation and transformation. Wood is a professor of museum studies and public scholar of museums, families and learning at IUPUI. She is the recipient of the John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership in from the American Alliance of Museums, and former editor of the Journal of Museums & Social Issues.

Meet the Artists: Sisters of the Cloth - Saturday, March 3, 2018
Quilters of “Sisters of the Cloth: This is Our Story,” an exhibit exploring the lives of African American quilters, demonstrated and disuccsed their works. The Sisters of the Cloth Quilting Guild was founded in 1999 and is located in Fort Wayne, IN. The event will be free and open to the public.

Instruments of Culture: The Commonest and Most Despised Instrument--The Harmonium and Indian Nationalism - Wednesday, February 28, 2018
The harmonium, notes Matt Rahaim (an Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Minnesota), is a widely-used instrument in India, but has also long been condemned as a "plague," a "menace," and "the bane of Indian music." During the Indian independence movement, both British and Indian scholars condemned the harmonium for embodying an unwelcome foreign musical sensibility. It was banned from All-India Radio from 1940 to 1971, and still is only provisionally accepted on the national airwaves. The debate over the harmonium hinged on putative sonic differences between India and the modern West, and the attempt to banish the sound of the harmonium was part of an attempt to define a national sound for India, distinct from British modernity. Rahaim's talk explored the intertwined aesthetic and political ideals that underlie the harmonium controversy. Rahaim's first book, Musicking Bodies: Gesture and Voice in Hindustani Music (2012) dealt with bodily-vocal disciplines among Hindustani singers. His current book project explores traditions of voice cultivation in North India, among Bollywood singers, qawwals, classical vocalists, and purveyors of the eclectic contemporary styles known as "singing Sufi" and "singing Western." He also is a performing Hindustani vocalist in the Gwalior tradition, trained under L.K. Pandit. The free event was presented in conjunction with "India Remixed," and  sponsored by IU's Arts and Humanities Council.

Family Craft Day: Hats - Sunday, February 11, 2018
To celebrate the exhibit “Heads and Tales,” families explored the art of hat making.

Under the Influence: The Role of Headcoverings in North American Identity Creation - Thursday, February 1, 2018
When a Pakistani immigrant woman, Zunera Ishaq, took the Canadian federal government to court over her right to wear her niqab (face veil) during her citizenship ceremony, it sparked a heated national debate about North American identity and values that fundamentally shifted the Canadian federal election of 2015. This case shared many overtones with Baltej Singh Dhillon’s struggle to wear a turban as part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform in 1990. Laura Morlock,a PhD candidate in human rights and religious diversity in North America at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, notes that "when minorities bring overtly religious headcoverings into public spaces they challenge cultural norms and majority discourses of the 'other.' They prompt dialogue around reasonable accommodation and multiculturalism. They push the dominant society to examine the truths they unquestioningly accept as universal, leading nations to ask, 'who gets to be ‘us’?” Morlock explored this dialogue during a talk in conjunction with "Heads and Tales," an exhibit produced in partnership with the Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection. The event, co-sponsored by the Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection, was free and open to the public.

Roundtable on Syria - Friday, January 19, 2018
IU professors and researchers presented a roundtable discussion about  political and social issues in Syria and the ramifications for refugees and host communities.The featured participants include Asaad Alsaleh, an Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature, Comparative and Cultural Studies; Iman Alramadan, a lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Culture; Lydia Lahey, a graduate student in the Department of Geography whose studies focus on the refugee settlement process in the Midwest through the analysis of the humanitarian practices by nongovernmental organizations and community organizations; and Elizabeth Dunn, an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and International Studies who has spent more a decade researching refugee issues, including living in a camp for internally displaced people for 16 months. The event will be free and open to the public.

Stitching Syria; Crafting National Identities Through the Hands of Women - Thursday, January 18, 2018
Maggie Slaughter, curator of "A Different Take on Syria," presented a talk on how the textiles and adornment of Syria offer an intimate perspective into national, confessional, and local identities of a country currently framed by international media strictly in the context of its devastating conflict.