Bloomington Creative Glass Center

April 29, 12-6


Celebrate the rich arts traditions and glass blowing traditions of Mexico focusing on the glassblowing of Tonalá and the alebrije (think the movie Coco) traditions of Oaxaca. In this all day event for all ages we will be demonstrating how to make blown glass the Mexcian way and then show you haw to make some fabulous glass alebrijes. Everyone is invited to try their hand at painting their own wooden alebrije, imported from Oaxaca Mexico (suggested donation $5-10).

We will have live music and dance throughout the day, plus books and puzzles from Morgenstern's Books and info from El Centro Comunal Latino.

This event is free to enter. Donations gratefully accepted.

Tentative Schedule of events

  • 12:00 - Performance by IU Ballet Folkloric, a Mexican dance troupe.
  • 12:15- Live glass blowing demonstration of Mexican glass blowing styles
  • 1:30 - Performance by Perla de Medio Oeste, IU's Mariachi band
  • 2:10 - Live glass blowing demonstration making glass alebrijes!
  • 3:30 - Performance by IU Ballet Folkloric, a Mexican dance troupe.
  • 3:45 - Live glass blowing demonstration making glass alebrijes! We will auction off the piece as we make it.
  • Dance lessons from Paso a Paso

All Day

  • Paint your own Alebrije a hands on art activities for all ages
  • Books and games from Morgenstern’s Booksellers
  • Learn to play the ancient MesoAmerican ball game of pok-ta-pok


What is an alebrije?

Alebrijes are brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures, be them fantasy or mythical. The first alebrije, along with the invention of the term, originated in the 30s when the famous Mexican papier-mâché artist, Pedro Linares, dreamed of a strange place resembling a forest. There, he saw trees, animals, rocks, clouds that suddenly turned into something strange, some kind of animals, but, unknown animals. When he recoverd, he began recreating the creatures he saw in papier-mâché, and named them Alebrijes.

Today, there are two main styles of alebrije, papier-mâché ones made in Mexico City, and wooden ones from Oaxaca, carved from the copal tree.


About our Event Partners

Mariachi Perla de Medio Oeste was created in 2018 as a joint initiative between Latin American Music Center at the Jacobs School of Music, the La Casa/Latino Cultural Center and the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology. The group is a volunteer ensemble committed to the cultivation and promotion of Mexican-American,  Mexican and Latin American music and culture, both within IU and the larger Southern Indiana region. Its members include IU undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the larger Bloomington community. Over the years, the mariachi has counted with the participation of musicians originally from the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Peru, Spain, and Venezuela.

Ballet Folklorico de IU is a social and cultural blend of a dance group and a university student organization. It's a dance group which seeks to learn, practice, and perform folk dances from various states from Mexico. Our mission as a student organization is to bring awareness of cultural diversity and share Mexican culture on campus through dance. While getting the opportunity to learn traditional and interpretive dances of Mexican folklore, members also partake in service activities, social events to foster a community of IU students interested in Mexican culture and dance.


Paso a Paso  is a cultural outreach dance team that aspires to educate the community on Latinx culture through dance. We encourage expression and strive to cultivate creativity and awareness. Through dance workshops, performances, and our annual “LatinXpo” we show the many facets of Latin art and culture. Our organization is open to any and all with a passion for dance or a wish to better understand or connect with Latin culture.


Morgenstern's Books Their mission is to nurture connection, encourage learning, and inspire delight. Morgenstern Books strives to offer opportunities for people to share experiences that help bring forth connection and a sense of unity.They envision a world illuminated by the sharing of books, ideas, and understanding.


El Centro Comunal Latino is a grassroots, community-based organization that provides an accessible and safe space for all Hispanics, with a focus on Spanish-speaking community members, to find information, access resources, and hold community events. Although El Centro is located in the Downtown Library, it is not affiliated with it.