Chinese Zodiac
Friday, March 24; 3 to 5 p.m.

2017 is the Year of the Rooster, but why is that? Why isn't there a Year of the Cat? Explore the Chinese Zodiac and learn more about the traditions surrounding the animals of the zodiac and their symbolic meanings during this free family event. The IUB Chinese Calligraphy Club will present a number of fun hands-on activities and treats centered on the Chinese Zodiac, including calligraphy, paper cutting art, sugar drawing art, clay animals, games, a pipa (stringed instrument) performance, and delicious food. Everything will be free and open to the public.

Mystery at the Museum
Sunday, March 26: 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Oh jinkies, something's gone missing and we need your help! Come join Scooby, Shaggy, and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang for a mysteriously good time for the whole family. Zoinks! This event will be free and open to the public, but will please register by emailing or calling 812-855-0197. (We're sorry, the event registration is closed.)

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Opening Reception
Tuesday, March 28; 5 to 6:30 p.m.

To kick off the month-long celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Asian Cultural Center and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures are co-sponsoring a reception featuring a special one-time showcase of works--paintings. books, and digital arts, among others--by Asian and Asian American students, staff, and faculty. Special guest Popo Fan will help us learn more about his work as a film director and LGBTQ advocate as we begin to explore the theme of this year: "Belonging." The event will be free and open to the public, but please RSVP by contacting or

Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar Family Day (Binford Elementary School, 2300 E. 2nd St.)
Saturday, April 1; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar Family Day is a free multicultural arts-and-education event for kids and families. The event features hands-on activities, exploration of world cultures, and live performances, and it's appropriate for all ages, but especially fun for kids K-6 (children must be accompanied by parents/guardians). More than 30 activity stations (including several presented by the MMWC) let kids get their hands on the world, so grab your passport at the door and go!

Beyond the Music: A Musical Geography of Mexico with Sones de México Ensemble
Wednesday, April 5; 7 to 8 p.m.

Sones de México Ensemble was formed as a quartet in 1994 and through the years grew to a sextet of multi-instrumentalists. Today, the original founding members, Juan Díes and Gonzalo Cordova, are joined by Lorena Iñiguez, Zacbé Pichardo, Eric Hines, and Rudy Piñón to form the country's premier folk music organization specializing in Mexican 'son.' All six members of Sones de Mèxico Ensemble are educators and between them, they are skilled at over 80 traditional Mexican folk instruments. Their diverse repertoire, rich in colors, textures and rhythms demonstrates that there is more to Mexican music than mariachi! Each performance intertwines Mexican culture and heritage by featuring the regional styles of huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho through original arrangements and new compositions. Whether they are performing for school children or in front of sold-out audiences across the country, their concerts entertain the senses and explore the riches of Mexican music, dance and culture. This Lotus Blossoms program will be free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

798: The Stage for China's Dreams
Thursday, April 6; Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Wenhong Luo, Assistant Curator of Yunnan Nationalities Museum and co-curator of Beijing's 798 Art Zone, will talk about the cultural space during an informal brownbag discussion at the Mathers Museum. In a group of 60 year-old decommissioned electronic components factories in Dashanzi, in Chaoyang District of Beijing, an art zone rises and thrives. Called 798, this art colony has become one of the "calling cards" of Beijing, a cultural landmark, a popular showcase of contemporary Chinese art, a booming locale of creative industries, and an important public space for citizens and visitors.

Luo notes: "Ever since the 1950's grand Bauhaus-style factory buildings were constructed, this area has been bounded up with the vicissitudes of history. First, an embodiment of the state plan for industrializing new China in the communist international, the district was a political star, exemplifying the socialist life. Later it was transformed into a forgotten relic in the social shifts of the Reform and Opening-up period (since 1978 to this day), then becoming a secluded "peach blossom spring" for liberal artists/intellectuals, a community of avant-garde artists, an underground window toward Western world. It has now become a boom town for creative industries, businesses, and capital, an advertisement for Chinese creativity and "cultural soft power," a trendy SoHo, a tourist attraction, a fairground...This place has been the hotbed for the various creators and dreamers of their time, there passions and fanaticisms ebb and flow. Some of their dreams were realized, some failed, some vanished in the flows of change...but stories were written, legends have been told far and wide, landscapes have been changed---798 area is not only a witness, but also a stage for a kind of Chinese dream play that has been taking shape since the 1950's---not the type of dream with clear aims and visions, but a more psychological revealing dream, which "imitate[s] the incoherent but ostensibly logical form of our dreams. anything can happen; everything is possible and probable........", in which "working with some insignificant real events as a background, the imagination spins out its thread of thoughts and weaves them into new patterns---a mixture of memories, experiences, spontaneous ideas, impossibilities, and improbabilities (Strindberg, 1901)."

First Thursdays: Dragon Dance (Fine Arts Plaza)
Thursday, April 6; 5 to 7:30 p.m.

We'll be celebrating the opening of the exhibition Beijing's 798 Art Zone by hosting a dragon dance at April's First Thursdays event at Fine Arts Plaza. Dancers from the Indianapolis Chinese Community Center will perform the dance, and guests will have a chance to try on a dragon dance costume. The event will be free and open to the public.

Exhibition Opening: Beijing's 798 Art Zone
Thursday, April 6; 7 to 8:30 p.m.

After the turn of the 21st century, artists and cultural entrepreneurs began colonizing a former military factory complex in northeast Beijing. Taking its name from that numbered factory, the 798 Art Zone is an urban arts colony that now attracts visitors from around China and the world. Offering a glimpse of a compelling place that is both visually saturated and reflective of the state of contemporary arts and society in present-day China, Beijing's 798 Art Zone introduces the district and its ever-changing artistic landscape through photographs. The event will be free and open to the public.

FNECC Pre-Powwow Lecture: Walk a Mile in Size 15 Moccasins
Friday, April 7; 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Nicky Kay Michael, Delaware Council Member and University of Wyoming American Indian Studies Professor, will discuss her experiences as an indigenous mother and academic. Her talk will examine Native American culture and dance in exploring one's "place" among her Tribe and the larger Indian community. "Walk a Mile in Size 15 Moccasins" relates to the imprint a footprint makes in history, while is also a humorous anecdote to the size of her son's feet. Learning how to adjust and accommodate the tasks of making and dressing her and her children to dance, she will explain the responsibility in being able to accomplish things that seem very big and will last for generations to come. The lecture and following reception will be free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center.

Peter Manseau: "Throw Me the Idol. I'll Throw you the Whip: Sacred Stories, Holy Theft, and the Task of the Religion Writer"
Friday, April 7; 5:30 p.m. (at Global and International Studies Building, Room 0001)

Peter Manseau is the Lilly Endowment Curator of American Religious History at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. He is the author of six books including the travelogue Rag and Bone and the retelling of America's diverse spiritual formation One Nation, Under Gods. The event will be free and open to the public, and is hosted by the Graduate Religious Studies Association at Indiana University and co-sponsored by the Mathers Museum of World Cultures.

Drums Along the Scioto: Losing our marbles but gaining new insights on Hopewell material culture based on contemporary Shawnee ceremonial practices
Tuesday, April 11; 12 p.m.

Seip Mound, the third largest mound in the Hopewell world, was excavated in the 1920s. Among the iconic artifacts recovered from these excavations were five, small, spherical stones made from steatite. The excavators originally identified these objects as marbles, based on no evidence other than their own cultural preconceptions. During recent consultations with the three Shawnee tribes, Brad Lepper, Senior Curator of Archaeology for the Ohio History Connection, and Ben Barnes, 2nd Chief of the Shawnee Tribe, began a conversation about the Shawnee water drum, which suggested an alternative interpretation of these "marbles" based on the material culture and ceremonial traditions of a contemporary tribe who undoubtedly participated to some extent in the Hopewellian ceremonial interaction sphere. The two continued this dialogue and now argue that these stone spheres likely are components of a Hopewell water drum. If they're right, it would be the oldest evidence for a drum in eastern North America. The event will be hosted by the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, and will be free and open to the public.

China Remixed Story Slam
Tuesday, April 11; 7 p.m.

Reflecting the IUB Arts and Humanities Council's commitment to public storytelling as both an art and an essential form of community engagement, the council will host a student storytelling exchange that features the lives and experiences of Chinese students, Chinese American students, and American students studying in China as part of China Remixed. The exchange will take place live and in dual languages in a "Story Slam" mode with both workshops and public competitions. The program will then extend to the digital sphere where it will be archived and expanded for future use. The goal of this program is to create better understandings and a greater sense of shared community between our international and domestic students, with an eye toward future research on the nature and benefits of study abroad and international exchange. The event will be free and open to the public, and a reception will follow the event. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the storytelling begins at 7:30 p.m.

Beauty with Hidden Flaws: Maintenance and Transformation of Sowei Identity Through Repair and Alteration
Friday, April 14; 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Kristin Otto, a Ph.D. student in IU's Department of Anthropology, will discuss the aesthetically distinctive, helmet-style sowei masks of West Africa's Sande (or Bundu) society, which have become fixtures in many Western museum collections, including the Mathers Museum's collection.

Otto notes that scholarship has yielded important insights into the beautiful, stylistically standard aesthetic markers of sowei that materialize symbolic and cultural values. Attention to non-standard features, however, reveals practical formation of individualized form and identity.

Her close examination of the sowei masks in the collections of the Mathers Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of African Art, and a private collection reveal instances of intervention over time on the vast majority of the sowei masks. These interventions include physical alteration of the material form, repair of damage, maintenance or application of aesthetic standards, and transformation of identity.

Otto concludes the physical evidence of these actions not only indicates the continued process of making sowei, but also illustrates the active and purposeful negotiation of a continuum between beauty and ugliness by both local and global forces.

The event will be free and open to the public.

Film Screening: Peasant Family Happiness
Wednesday, April 19; 5 p.m.

Directed by Jenny Chio (2013), this film depicts the everyday experiences of "doing tourism" in two rural, ethnic tourism destinations in contemporary China: Ping'an and Upper Jidao villages. By focusing on the perspectives of village residents, the film portrays how they negotiate between the day-to-day consequences of tourist arrivals in their home villages, ideal projections of who they are, and what they can achieve through tourism development. The event will be free and open to the public.

Global Dance Workshop
Wednesday, April 26; 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Here's your chance to learn tango, two-step, and other dances from around the globe. Teaching sessions will start at 4:30 p.m., and will be followed by an opportunity to practice what you've learned. The event will be free and open to the public, but please don't wear flip-flops or sandals.

Family Craft Day: Papermaking
Sunday, April 30; 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Get your family together for a fun-filled afternoon of papermaking! Sessions will start at 2, 2:30, and 3 p.m. to ensure time for instruction and allow for time to make paper. Wear clothes you don't mind getting wet or messy. Weather permitting, we'll work on the south lawn of the museum. The event will be free and open to the public.