Past Events

Past Events 2019

Growing Old in Brown County: A Place to Remember and Place to Forget
Tuesday, October 8; 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.
Brown County, Indiana is known for many things; it is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community, the oldest bluegrass festival in the country, and with its large state park, gift shops, and art galleries it is arguably Indiana’s premier tourist destination. This rural community, however, has another notable distinction-- it is the oldest per capita county in Indiana. The median age in the county is 46 years, compared to the state average of 36 years. Brown County is a NORC, a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community. Come learn about what is like to grow old in this community. Listen to life-long residents as they talk about their memories of this place they call home, as well as well as the voices of newcomers who have chosen to “retire” to the county and start a new life. Themester 2019 – Remembering and Forgetting, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences, will sponsor the event, which will be free and open to the public.

Curator’s Talk--Framing Sukkot:  Jewish Ritual Architecture and Contemporary Life
Friday, October 4; 4:30 p.m.
During this talk, curator of the exhibit “Remembering the Ephemeral: the Ritual Architecture of Sukkot in Contemporary Life,” Dr. Gabrielle Berlinger will explore how the ancient religious ritual of Sukkot can communicate current social and political needs. The Sukkot observance that she documented in photographs from 2007 to 2015 illustrate the Jewish holiday’s central rite of building and “dwelling in" temporary shelters that evoke the physical and metaphorical experience of wandering in the wilderness. This ritual construction is founded on notions of hospitality and conceptions of home, and when juxtaposed against the Occupy Movement (2010-11) and the migration of African asylum seekers into Israel (2006-present), these themes become resonant in new ways. Berlinger is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Folklore, and the Babette S. and Bernard J. Tanenbaum Fellow in Jewish History and Culture at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. As a folklorist and ethnologist, she studies the nature and significance of vernacular architecture and ritual practice, particularly in contemporary Jewish communities. She is author of Framing Sukkot: Tradition and Transformation in Jewish Vernacular Architecture (Indiana University Press, 2017). Themester 2019 – Remembering and Forgetting, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences, will sponsor the event, which will be free and open to the public.

First Thursdays Festival (at Fine Arts Plaza)
Thursday, October 3; 5 to 8 p.m.
Celebrate the arrival of fall and prepare for Sukkot with harvest-inspired activities at the Mathers Museum First Thursdays booth. The event will be free and open to the public, and sponsored by the IU Arts and Humanities Council.

“Some Dance to Remember, Some Dance to Forget”
Thursday, October 3; 2:30 p.m.               
Dance is not just for the young, and The Still Kicking Cloggers and the Heritage Place Ladies of the Dance will prove that point during a dance demonstration/conversation at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. Dance is not only good for the body; choreographed dance helps elders maintain and strengthen their memory. Come learn how dancing supports the creative lives of these elders from Indianapolis. Themester 2019 – Remembering and Forgetting, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences, will sponsor the event, which will be free and open to the public.

Lotus in the Park (at Waldron, Hill, and Buskirk Park--Third Street Park, 331 S. Washington St.)
Saturday, September 28; Noon to 5 p.m.
Lotus in the Park features music and hands-on activities from around the world--free and fun for all ages. Visit the Mathers Museum tables to learn more about “Aboriginal Bark Painting from Northern Australia,” and boomerangs. Try your hand at making a boomerang during the event! Lotus in the Park will be free and open to the public.

Cicada Song—A Workshop/Demonstration of Music and Culture of the Dong (Kam) People of Southwestern China
Thursday, September 26; 5 p.m.
Living in the mountainous areas of Southwestern China, the Dong (Kam) people have developed a unique culture in which music plays a central part. Without a traditional written language of their own, the Dong people transmit much of their history, culture, and knowledge through songs, especially the Grand Song, a unique polyphonic a cappella that was proclaimed by UNESCO as a masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009. Hosted by ethnomusicologist Mu Qian and performed by the Yandong Grand Singers, this workshop/demonstration will showcase Dong songs and their contexts, such as courting songs performed as part of young people’s social events. The musicians will also teach participants to sing songs like the Cicada Song, in which the singers imitate the flickering of cicadas’ wings with quick sextuplets. The event will be free and open to the public, and will be sponsored by the East Asian Studies Center and presented in partnership with Lotus Education and Arts Foundation.

Curator’s Talk--Circling the Square: The Nature of History in an Indiana Town
Thursday, September 12; 5 p.m.
Eric Sandweiss, IU Professor and Carmony Chair, Department of History and curator of “800 Seasons: Change and Continuity in Bloomington, 1818-2018,” will discuss the exhibition, which tells the story of Bloomington from the ground up. How do nature and history shape one another in the American Midwest—and how are Bloomington’s possibilities for tomorrow shaped by 200 years of community building in the southern Indiana hill country? The event will be free and open to the public, and will be sponsored by IU’s Grand Challenges: Prepared for Environmental Change.

Poetry, Memory, and Art with Jenny Kander
Tuesday, September 10; 2:30 p.m.
Come to this afternoon conversation with elder poet and textile artist Jenny Kander. She will talk about her life of words and art, and discuss how her creative practice has supported her in later life. A well-regarded elder in Bloomington’s poetry circle, in recent years she has mixed words, stories, and needlework, to make narrative dolls that enable her to share stories about humanity that are both humorous and hard. Interspersed in her poems and stories are biographical reflections and personal memories. Themester 2019 – Remembering and Forgetting, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences, will sponsor the event, which will be free and open to the public.

First Thursdays Festival (at Fine Arts Plaza)
Thursday, September 5; 5 to 8 p.m.
Join the MMWC at First Thursdays Festival to learn more about the Clio app, a tool you can use to find historic sites on campus and around our community. While you’re there, pick up a free copy of the “Museum Miles” walking tour map—we’ll have other swag as well! The event will be free and open to the public, and sponsored by the IU Arts and Humanities Council.

Welcome Week Open House
Friday, August 23; Noon to 3 p.m.
Mathers Museum of World Cultures held a Welcome Week Open House. The event was free and open to the public.

Family Craft Day: Huichol Yarn Painting and Otomi Paper Cuts
Sunday, April 28; 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Visitors celebrate Mexico Remixed, a program of IU's Arts and Humanities Council, with free and fun family crafts inspired by traditional crafts from Mexico.

Artist in Residence--Marcos Bautista (Weaver)
Sunday, April 28; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Marcos Bautista is from Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico, a community known for its Zapotec weaving. He grew up helping his family in their weaving business, often operating the standing loom. Marcos’ art combines his innovative designs with Zapotec patterns and techniques. He moved to Indiana after he married, and he continues to sell his textiles at art and craft fairs around the state. He remains close to his family in Oaxaca, often sending them new patterns of his own design and helping to sell his family’s creations. Bautista was an artist in residence at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, demonstrating his art and discussing his work with visitors. The free demonstrations were presented in conjunction with Mexico Remixed, a program of IU’s Arts and Humanities Council.

Indiana Heritage Fellowships Awards Celebration
Saturday, April 27; 1 to 4:30 p.m. (Awards ceremony, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.)

Demonstrations and performances by traditional artists from Indiana will fill the Mathers Museum’s halls as we celebrate the inaugural Indiana Heritage Fellowship awards. The fellowships recognize traditional artists who make outstanding contributions to their artistic tradition and to their community. Among the demonstrators will be master artists and apprentices from the Traditional Arts Indiana Apprenticeship Program. The program supports the continuation of cultural practices in Indiana communities by funding up to six apprenticeship pairs each year, enabling apprentices to learn essential knowledge and skills in traditional art forms from master artists. Celebration highlights will include performances by  Ballet Folklórico of East Chicago, Indiana, and bluegrass music performers. Demonstrations will include blacksmithing, Miami and Great Lake beadwork embroidery, hoopnet making, and African drum making. The event will be free and open to the public.

Artist in Residence--Marcos Bautista (Weaver)
Saturday, April 27; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Marcos Bautista is from Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico, a community known for its Zapotec weaving. He grew up helping his family in their weaving business, often operating the standing loom. Marcos’ art combines his innovative designs with Zapotec patterns and techniques. He moved to Indiana after he married, and he continues to sell his textiles at art and craft fairs around the state. He remains close to his family in Oaxaca, often sending them new patterns of his own design and helping to sell his family’s creations. Bautista was an artist in residence at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, demonstrating his art and discussing his work with visitors. The free demonstrations were presented in conjunction with Mexico Remixed, a program of IU’s Arts and Humanities Council.

Maize is Life: A Staple in South Africa
Thursday, April 25; 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Jordan Blekking, an IU doctoral student in the Department of Geography, notes “maize is the most important crop in Southern Africa, both in terms of agricultural productivity and food security.” He presented a discussion on how maize has grown in importance across the region over the past century, primarily as a result of pro-maize policies that promote the crop above all others, but may create more adverse food security effects, and even hunger. The talk was free and open to the public.

Exhibit Reception--Echoes of the Rainforest: The Visual Arts of the Shipibo Indians
Saturday, April 20; 2 to 4 p.m.
The work of high school students at the International School of Indiana (in Indianapolis) who helped to develop and design the exhibit "Echoes of the Rainforest: The Visual Arts of the Shipibo Indians" was recognized during this reception. The exhibit’s artifacts--ceramics, textiles, and other works created by people living in the Amazon rainforest of Peru--were collected by Frédéric and Bernadette Allamel, who worked with Frédéric's students at the International School to curate the exhibit. The reception was free and open to the public.

LatinXpo
Thursday, April 18; 5 to 7 p.m.
This event featured a celebration of Latino and Latin American culture, and was free and open to the public.

Voices of the People/The Power of Word and Image Reception
Tuesday, April 16; 4:30 to 6 p.m.
A reception was held for "Voices of the People/The Power of Word and Image," a project bringing together indigenous, Mexican, and American poets, writers, translators, language specialists, and publishers for two days of workshops and lectures. The event was sponsored by Mexico Remixed, a program of IU's Arts and Humanities Council; the Center on Latin American and Caribbean Studies; the College Office of International Affairs; and the Department of Anthropology, and was free and open to the public.

Voices of the People/The Power of Word and Image Poetry Reading
Monday, April 15; 2 to 4 p.m.

"Voices of the People/The Power of Word and Image," is a project bringing together indigenous, Mexican, and American poets, writers, translators, language specialists, and publishers for two days of workshops and lectures. This public poetry reading featured three poets and a filmmaker exploring language, image, and indigenous cultures:  Irma Pineda, poet, with Wendy Call, translator; Victor Terán, poet, with Donald Frischmann, translator; "Translation, What Is It?" by Pedro Serrano, poet; and "The Power of Images," by Robert Olivares, filmmaker. The event was sponsored by Mexico Remixed, a program of IU's Arts and Humanities Council; the Center on Latin American and Caribbean Studies; the College Office of International Affairs; and the Department of Anthropology, and was free and open to the public.

A Celebration of the Drums (from "Sacred Drums, Sacred Trees: Haiti’s Changing Climate")
Thursday, April 11; 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Internationally-renowned Vodou priest, vocalist, and dancer Erol Josué presented a celebration of the Haitian drums on display in the Mathers Museum exhibit "Sacred Drums, Sacred Trees: Haiti’s Changing Climate." The celebration was an exploration of Haitian culture woven together with musical performance and dance. The event was sponsored by Indiana University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Sage Collection, and was free and open to the public.

IU Day: Cream and Crimson Tie-Dye
Wednesday, April 10; 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Forms of tie-dye have existed for centuries in Asia and Africa, so the museum celebreated IU Day with a special chance for visitors to create their own Hoosier tie-dye t-shirt at the Mathers Museum. The event was free and open to the public.

Artist in Residence--Marcos Bautista (Weaver)
Saturday, April 6; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Marcos Bautista is from Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico, a community known for its Zapotec weaving. He grew up helping his family in their weaving business, often operating the standing loom. Marcos’ art combines his innovative designs with Zapotec patterns and techniques. He moved to Indiana after he married, and he continues to sell his textiles at art and craft fairs around the state. He remains close to his family in Oaxaca, often sending them new patterns of his own design and helping to sell his family’s creations. Bautista was an artist in residence at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, demonstrating his art and discussing his work with visitors. The free demonstrations were presented in conjunction with Mexico Remixed, a program of IU’s Arts and Humanities Council.

Mathers Museum at First Thursdays (at Fine Arts Plaza)
Thursday, April 4; 5 to 7:30 p.m.
The museum presented Climate Ribbons at the First Thursday event, a way to shareconcerns about climate change and how it’s changing our world. A

Through the Eyes of Durdy Bayramov: Turkmen Village Life, 1960s-80s
Wednesday, April 3; 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Durdy Bayramov (1938-2014) grew up in an orphanage in Turkmenistan and overcame the significant challenges of his youth to become an acclaimed Eurasian artist. Through a prolific career as a painter that spanned more than 55 years, Bayramov was best known for his compelling portraits. Keya Bayramov, his daughter, visited the Mathers Museum to discuss her father’s photography. The event was sponsored by Indiana University's Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, and was free and open to the public.

Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar Family Day (at Fairview Elementary School, 500 W. 7th St.)
Saturday, March 30; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Staff and volunteers from the Mathers Museum presented hands-on activities and crafts at the annual Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar Family Day, a community-wide free multicultural arts-and-education event for kids and families.

Artist in Residence--Marcos Bautista (Weaver)
Saturday, March 30; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Marcos Bautista is from Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico, a community known for its Zapotec weaving. He grew up helping his family in their weaving business, often operating the standing loom. Marcos’ art combines his innovative designs with Zapotec patterns and techniques. He moved to Indiana after he married, and he continues to sell his textiles at art and craft fairs around the state. He remains close to his family in Oaxaca, often sending them new patterns of his own design and helping to sell his family’s creations. Bautista was an artist in residence at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, demonstrating his art and discussing his work with visitors. The free demonstrations were presented in conjunction with Mexico Remixed, a program of IU’s Arts and Humanities Council.

Sustainable Food Systems and the IU Campus Farm
Wednesday, March 27; 12 to 1 p.m.

Dr. James Farmer, co-director of the IU Campus Farm, discussed IU’s applied involvement in sustainable food systems. He will highlight the farm’s beginning, approach to food production, research, and other projects on the farm. This presentation also covered the experience of getting the campus community involved at the farm, outlining future directions and goals. The talk was free and open to the public.

Justice Fair (at Indiana Memorial Union, Solarium)
Wednesday, March 27; 8 p.m.

Following "Borders, Bans, & Babies: America's War on Immigrants," a panel by social justice advocates addressing the current immigrant crisis, 60 different organizations (including the Mathers Museum) presented information on their relevant work. The panel was at 6 p.m., and the Justice Fair and reception began at 8 p.m. The event was free and open to the public.

Critical Approaches to Superfoods: The Problem with Solutions
Thursday, March 21; 5:30 p.m.
Dr. Julie Guthman, Professor of Social Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, presented  the keynote address for "Critical Approaches to Superfoods," a workshop at Indiana University. The lecture was free and open to the public, and was sponsored by IU Bicentennial, the Association for the Study of Food & Society, the IU College of Arts & Humanities Institute, the IU Food Institute, the IU Department of Anthropology, and the IU Department of Geography.

Kenyan Traditional Music Making Workshop
Sunday, March 3; 2 p.m.

Wilson Shitandi, a Kenyan ethnomusicologist, composer, and performer, presented a workshop abut traditional music of Kenya, its significance, and its performance context.

Family Craft Day: Hmong Crafts
Sunday, February 24; 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Visitors learned more about Hmong story cloths, like those featured in “Picturing Change, Seeing Continuity,” an exhibit at the Mathers Museum. 

Artist in Residence--Marcos Bautista (Weaver)
Saturday, February 23; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Marcos Bautista is from Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico, a community known for its Zapotec weaving. He grew up helping his family in their weaving business, often operating the standing loom. Marcos’ art combines his innovative designs with Zapotec patterns and techniques. He moved to Indiana after he married, and he continues to sell his textiles at art and craft fairs around the state. He remains close to his family in Oaxaca, often sending them new patterns of his own design and helping to sell his family’s creations. Bautista was an artist in residence at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, demonstrating his art and discussing his work with visitors. The free demonstrations were presented in conjunction with Mexico Remixed, a program of IU’s Arts and Humanities Council.

Family Craft Day: Hmong Crafts
Sunday, February 24; 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Visitors learned more about Hmong story cloths, like those featured in “Picturing Change, Seeing Continuity,” an exhibit at the Mathers Museum.

Instruments of Culture: Indigenous and Mestizo Instrumental Traditions of Mexico
Thursday, February 21; 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

How can we be sure an instrument or music is really from the culture it portends to represent? Without firsthand experience, how can we claim to know the identity of a people we have never met? These are questions asked by Nolan Warden, a Lecturer at Purdue University who studies musics of African and Indigenous heritage in the Americas. Warden notes that "In ethnomusicology and related fields, this basic epistemological problem is ostensibly mitigated through ethnographic methods. Yet ethnography is inextricable from the flows and premises of global capitalism, and as such, capitalist motivations seem to permeate the how and why of 'knowing' others through ethnography, paradoxically subverting the very identities being represented."  Warden's talk presented a specific case from historical and ethnographic perspectives on Wixárika (Huichol) culture, utilizing musical instruments found in the Mathers Museum collection and fieldwork conducted in Wixárika communities of western Mexico. The talk was free and open to the public, and was co-sponsored by Mexico Remixed, a program of IU's Arts and Humanities Council.

Anthropology Day
Thursday, February 21; 3:45 - 4:30 p.m.
Lambda Alpha, Kappa chapter helped to clelebrate Anthropology Day at the Mathers Museum with swag and cupcakes. The event was free and open to the public and was sponsored by IU’s Department of Anthropology.

Reimagining Opera for Kids: The Lunchbox Project
Friday, February 15; 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

​A new commissioned work for Reimagining Opera for Kids, The Lunchbox Project uses traditional music as the setting to explore the many cultures revealed in our lunchboxes. Students' own stories were integrated into performances, as they were able to submit poems about their lunchboxes, which cast members will select--and sing!--during the opera. The free performance was sung in English.

Puppets, Museums, Social Media, and City Spaces: Performing Southeast Asian Identities
Wednesday, February 6; 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Jennifer Goodlander, Associate Professor of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance and Director IU's Southeast Asian and ASEAN Studies Program, discussed her most recently published book during a lecture that  examined puppets as objects and in performance that make culture come alive.
Puppetry in Southeast Asia is one of the oldest and most dynamic genres of performance. The lecture was free and open to the public.

Family Craft Day: Puppets - Sunday, December 2, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Visitors enjoyed a family-friendly and fun afternoon of crafting animal puppets. The event was free and open to the public.

Loy Krathong Festival - Saturday, November 10, 2 to 4 p.m.
Loy Krathong is a Siamese festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand. The name of the festival refers to the lotus-shaped floating baskets that are traditionally released on lakes, rivers, and canals during the festival. Visitors learned more about Loy Krathong and created their own floating basket during this free event sponsored by the IU's Department of Southeast Asian and Asean Studies.

Eye of the Photographer: Anya Peterson Royce - Thursday, November 8, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
This talk examined Anya Peterson Royce's 51 years of photographing the southern Oaxaca city of Juchitán and its people. Royce, Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology and Comparative Literature at IU, notes that what she chose to photograph changed as she became more comfortable being a whole person, with all the vulnerability that comes with it. The event was free and open to the public.

Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Altar Lighting and Reception - Friday, November 2, 4 to 7 p.m.
Join us to light the Día de los Muertos Community Altar during a closing ceremony and reception to celebrate and honor the memories of deceased loved ones. The event was free and open to the public.

Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Community Altar - October 4 to November 2
Visitors were invited to add gifts to a community altar in honor of those who've passed, as it's customary to leave small offerings of items they would have enjoyed. The altar nurtures the memory of their lives, and each year it's built upon the foundation of the previous years’ offerings.

Mathers Museum at First Thursdays (at Fine Arts Plaza)
Thursday, November 1; 5 to 7:30 p.m.

The Mathers Museum booth featured activities related to Day of the Dead. The event was free and open to the public, and was sponsored by IU’s Arts and Humanities Council.

Halloween Family Fun Fest - Sunday, October 28, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Visitors celebrated the season with games and crafts for family fun. The event was free and open to the public.

A Sense of Occasion: The Relevance of Millinery in Contemporary Society - Wednesday, October 3, 4:30 p.m.
Master milliner Loreta Corsetti discussed her work. Her lecture was presented in conjunction with the exhibit “Heads and Tales” (a collaoration between the Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection and the Mathers Museum). The event was be free and open to the public, and was sponsored by the Sage Collection as part of its Bill Blass Lecture Series.

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.

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.

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, discussed his research and study of creativity and aging. Kay is the author of Folklife and Aging: Life-Story Objects and Their Makers.

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 presented 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 discussed 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. 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, explored this case 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 included 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 was 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.

 

Winterfest: Storytelling - December 3, 2017
Winter is the perfect time to tell some stories or hear some stories. Come make puppets, storybooks, and other crafts that tell a story. Storytelling by Bloomington Storytelling Guild. Winterfest will be free and open to the public.

La Gran Milonga: A Winter Tango Ball with live music by Tamango - December 1, 2017
Celebrate the season with dance and music! The event is free and open to all ages and all levels of experience.

From Infrapolitical Expression to Gentrified Beautification: Graffiti in the Hip Hop Tradition - November 16, 2017
Graffiti is an unauthorized inscription or drawing on a public surface, and it is meant to be confronted by a viewing public and elicit a reaction or perhaps a response, notes Fernando Orejuela. He also notes that graffiti born from the hip hop subculture of the 1970s can be understood as resistance through adornment. This talk, by Orejuela, aims to address a cultural phenomenon when the act of vandalism is transforms into a highly - stylized art form recognized and adopted all over the globe. A Senior Lecturer and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at IU, Orejuela teaches courses on hip hop culture, subcultures, and youth music scenes; critical race theory and music; children's folklore and service learning; and play, gaming, and sports. His is the author of Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture published with Oxford University Press and currently co-editing a volume with fellow ethnomusicologist, Stephanie Shonekan on Black Lives Matter Movement and Music to be published by Indiana University Press. He is also a music consultant for the National Music of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee and a member of the advisory team for Carnegie Hall's A History of African American Music. The lecture will be free and open to the public.

Folk Art Residency: Katrina Mitten (Bead work) - November 16, 2017
A member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Katrina Mitten was born and raised in Indiana. Although most of the Miami were removed from their ancestral lands, Katrina's family remained in Huntington County. She learned traditional beadwork by studying family heirlooms and museum artifacts. Her work combines the geometric designs found in Miami ribbon work with the floral patterns of Great Lakes tribes' beadwork, as she incorporates personal experiences and family stories into her art. Taking inspiration from family and community narratives, Katrina's artwork continues a storytelling tradition that predates statehood. Through her work, Katrina demonstrates that Miami history and culture is "not something from the past, it is still going on today in the present." The events will be free and open to the public.

Community Jam Session - November 12, 2017
Bring your fiddle, banjo, flute, tabla, or other instrument out of the closet and play with other musicians in this informal setting. Participants will take turns picking songs and perhaps even teaching a few traditional melodies.

Chinese Calligraphy Club presents the Silk Road - November 3, 2017
IU's Chinese Calligraphy Club will present activities and crafts for exploring the Silk Road -- an ancient network of trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction originally connecting the East and West. Try your hand at calligraphy, printmaking, or cross - stitching, or attend a Pipa or Chinese Traditional Dance performance.

First Thursdays - November 2, 2017
More games from around the world with the Mathers Museum. The event will be free and open to the public.

Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Altar Lighting and Reception - November 1, 2017
Join us to light the Día de los Muertos Community Altar during a closing ceremony and reception to celebrate and honor the memories of deceased loved ones. The event will be free and open to the public.

Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Community Altar - October 3 to November 1, 2017
You're invited to add gifts to a community altar in honor of those who've passed, as it's customary to leave small offerings of items they would have enjoyed. The altar nurtures the memory of their lives, and each year it's built upon the foundation of the previous years offerings.

Family Craft Day: Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead - October 29, 2017
Come learn more about Día de los Muertos as we make sugar skulls, paper flowers, and more. The Latin American Music Center is sponsoring a musical performance as part of our free and fun celebration.

Otherness and Identity : Connectedness in Diversity - October 26, 2017
In considering notions of 'diversity, difference, and otherness" visual identity is key, says Deb Christiansen, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design and Director of Undergraduate Studies in IU's School of Art and Design. She notes that we have much in common cross - culturally in both identity development and self - concept formation. Self-conception is influenced by our actions and interactions in the world, and appearance is one important outward manifestation and form of communication. This presentation by Christiansen will tie together thoughts about appearance and identity with visual details from the varied cultures being explored by the Mathers Museum of World Cultures this year. From Osage wedding traditions to the material culture of Syria, and from an urban arts colony in China to everyday objects from Pakistan, the elements that define us also connect us, and they tell us what is important, where we come from, and how we are more alike than different. The lecture was free and open to the public.

Jennifer Miller Performs Her Signature Sideshow Acts! - October 20, 2017
Those stigmatized as "other" have a range of options for managing their stigma, and have historically been expected to try to cover and minimize their otherness. However, these demands -- and categorization itself -- can be resisted by choosing to present and perform publicly. Performing artist Jennifer Miller has used circus and sideshow platforms, and her own gender-bending bearded-ness, to challenge norms of self-presentation in society. As a bearded woman, Miller confronts gender confusion on a daily basis. As a skilled circus director and performer, she has used her personal experience of being "othered" to create performances that help audiences see into an experience of gender fluidity that can be liberating and joyous. This was a free public event that was co-sponsored by Themester: Diversity, Difference, Otherness.

"Dark Water" Artist's Talk and Reception - October 17, 2017
Jakkai Siributr, an internationally-recognized artist and IU alumnus, discussed his work and his exploration of the lives of migrant workers from Myanmar working in Thailand. The talk was free and open to the public, and was sponsored by IU's School of Education.

Celebration of New African Collections Thursday - October 12, 2017
Mathers Museum staff and students explored new collections of African artifacts (the Kane Collection and the El-Shamy Collection) recently acquired by the museum. The event was free and open to the public.

First Thursdays - October 5, 2017
The Mathers Museum of World Cultures hosted more yard games during October's First Thursday. The event was free and open to the public.

Lotus in the Park - September 30, 2017
Lotus in the Park featured music and hands-on activities from around the world--free and fun for all ages. As always, Mathers Museum staff was on hand for crafts, including Osage ribbon work, a graffiti wall, and Pakistani tile-inspired coloring activities.

Putting Your Whole Self In: Queer Scholars Discuss Experiences in the Field - September 20, 2017
Representatives from the fields of Anthropology, Folklore, Gender Studies, and Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance will discuss their personal experiences conducting fieldwork as queer scholars. Speakers addressed some of the challenges queer scholars may face when conducting ethnographic research in the field, whether "the field" is a nearby or far away community, an archaeological site, or an archive. There was a time for discussion afterward, and attendees were encouraged to raise their own questions. All were welcome, including undergraduate and graduate students who may face similar situations and faculty who wish to learn how to better support their queer students and colleagues. The event was free and open to the public and was sponsored by IU's Institute for Advanced Study.

Tango Before Dark: An Afternoon Milonga with Live Music from Tamango - September 17, 2017
Introductory Talk by Prof. Jennie Gubner: "Argentine Tango and Folklore as Social Life",  Mini Chacarera /Argentine Folklore Dance Class, Open Milonga for dancing Tango and Folklore with live music by Tamango. Come dancing on a Sunday afternoon! Learn what a milonga is and take a tango lesson--the event was free and open to all ages and all levels of experience.

Dressing the Bride Demonstration/Discussion - September 16, 2017
Renee Harris and Leah Big Horse, of the Osage Nation, demonstrated dressing the bride and discussed the meaning behind each of the items in her regalia. The program was sponsored by IU's American Indian Studies Research Institute; Committee on Native American and Indigenous Studies; Department of Apparel Merchandising and Design; and Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. The program was free and open to the public.

"A Giving Heritage: Wedding Clothes and the Osage Community" Curator's Talk and Reception - September 15, 2017
Dan Swan, Curator of Ethnology, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, and curator of "A Giving Heritage: Wedding Clothes and the Osage Community" discussed his work with the Osage Community in developing the exhibit, as well as the history, importance, and meaning of wedding coats in Osage culture. A reception will follow the talk. The program was sponsored by IU's American Indian Studies Research Institute; Committee on Native American and Indigenous Studies; Department of Apparel Merchandising and Design; and Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. The event was free and open to the public.

Painting Politics: A Panel Discussion on Macedonia's "Colorful Revolution" - September 8, 2017
Several years ago, the government of the small Balkan country, the Republic of Macedonia, embarked on a "beautification" of its capital, Skopje. For the most part, this project consisted of hastily erected monuments to various historical figures and new, quasi-classical facades applied over old buildings. In addition to its divisive nationalist agenda, this project was hugely expensive. Growing evidence suggests that this project was not just an attempt at social re-engineering of Macedonian identity, but also a lucrative money-laundering scheme devised to benefit leading government officials.  In 2016, these monuments and buildings came under attack as various groups of citizens rose together in street protests against the wide-spread perception of the government's corruption and disregard for the rule of law. Using paint as their ammunition, protesters defaced these buildings and monuments in an expression of their revolt. The government and its supporters dismissed them as hooligans that should be prosecuted within the highly partisan judicial system. Those opposing the government policies saw them as art activists and heroes of a grass-roots movement, which has become known as the "Colorful Revolution." This panel (Marina Antic, Justin Otten, and Aneta Georgievska-Shine) explored the movement. The program was sponsored by IU's Russian and East European Institute; School of Global and International Studies; and the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures. The panel discussion was free and open to the public.

First Thursdays -  September 7, 2017
The Mathers Museum of World Cultures celebrated September's First Thursday with fun ways to move and learn through dancing and games. Students from IU's Filipino-American Association demonstrated and taught "tinikling," a traditional Filipino folk dance that involves two people beating, tapping, and sliding bamboo poles on the ground and against each other as dancers step over and in between the poles. After the dance visitors tried their hand (literally) at washer pitching, a popular American outdoor game and cousin to cornhole. The event was free and open to the public.