Show Date(s)

Online or At Box Office or By Phone
  • Location: The Kentucky Center, 501 W Main St - GET DIRECTIONS | Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S 5th St - GET DIRECTIONS | Spalding University, 824 S 4th St - GET DIRECTIONS
  • Date(s): Wednesday, April 19th - Saturday, April 22nd
  • Ages:  All ages
  • Price:  Festival Pass $250 | Single Sessions $25 | Earth Day Lunch $15 | Spiritual Practices $0 (free, ticket required, limit two per patron)
  • Running Time: Varies by session
  • Access Services: Accessible Seating, Assistive Listening System | 502-566-5111 (V) or 502-566-5140 (TTY)?
    • Wheelchair Accessible
    • Hearing

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  • Festival Pass on Wednesday, April 19 to Saturday, April 22, 2017
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  • Jewish Spiritual Practice on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 @ 8:30 AM, Bomhard Theater
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  • Compassionate Cities on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 @ 10:00 AM, Bomhard Theater
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  • Compassion and Economics on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 @ 2:00 PM, Bomhard Theater
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  • Islamic Spiritual Practice on Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 8:30 AM, Bomhard Theater
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  • Compassion in World Affairs on Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 10:00 AM, Bomhard Theater
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  • Living Compassion on Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 2:00 PM, Bomhard Theater
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  • Compassion Rising on Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 7:00 PM, Bomhard Theater
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  • Christian Spiritual Practice on Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 8:30 AM, Bomhard Theater
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  • The Science of Compassion on Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 10:00 AM, Bomhard Theater
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  • Compassion: Interior Landscape on Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 2:00 PM, Bomhard Theater
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  • Compassion Jam on Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 6:00 PM, Bomhard Theater
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  • Buddhist Spiritual Practice on Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 8:30 AM, Spalding University
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  • Compassionate Earth on Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 10:00 AM, Spalding University
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  • Earth Day Lunch on Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 12:00 PM, Spalding University
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  • The Nature of Interdependence on Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 1:30 PM, Spalding University
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Show Details

The 22nd Annual Festival of Faiths  is a celebration of music, spoken word, film, arts and dialogue with internationally renowned spiritual leaders, practitioners, and teachers.

The 2017 Festival offers itself as an honest broker and stakeholder on dialogue around authentic compassion. World class thought leaders and spiritual practitioners will explore a vision for compassion in our current economic systems, in world affairs, in our cities and within ourselves.

Festival Pass includes:
- Access to every session of the 2017 Festival of Faiths, including programs at The Kentucky Center, Spalding University and Cathedral of the Assumption
- Festival Earth Day Community Lunch on Saturday, April 22 at Spalding University catered by Farm to Fork
- Receptions before evening programs on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
- General Admission seating

Please note Festival Passes will not be mailed and are available for pick up at The Kentucky Center starting April 19th.

Wednesday, April 19

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: JEWISH MYSTICAL PRACTICE
with Rabbi Rami Shapiro

What is the method, purpose and inner meaning of Kabbalah? Rabbi Rami Shapiro, widely recognized as one of the most creative figures in contemporary American Judaism, will provide an introduction to the Jewish contemplative tradition and teach some basic practices. “Rami Shapiro is brilliant, heartful and full of reverence (and irreverence!). A great pluralistic soul with a fabulous sense of humor. You will love him.” -Rabbi Tirzah Firestone.

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM GETTING REAL ABOUT COMPASSIONATE CITIES
with Karen Armstrong, Joan Brown Campbell,  Mayor Greg Fischer,  Mayor Francisco Cienfuegos,  Mayor Betsy Price and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson

What does a compassionate city look like? This working session with globally renowned leaders and mayors on the subject of compassionate governance will discuss the compassionate cities movement and its vision for the future. In the light of today’s challenges and opportunities, how do we more deeply engage, understand and define what compassion really means and entails in order to move from aspiration to reality?

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM COMPASSION AND ECONOMICS: THE REAL BOTTOM LINE
with David Muhammad, Aruni Bhatnagar, Congressman John Yarmouth, Anthony Smith, Sadiqa Reynolds and others

What are the true costs of our current economic systems? What is an economic vision for our times that we could call truly compassionate? Using Kentucky as a case study or laboratory, panelists offer alternative visions of economic models that put the value on people, the environment and health over profit.

Through a spiritual lens, experts provide their personal testimony in three case studies: The school-to-prison pipeline, mental health, and human and environmental health. Local representatives from faith and secular backgrounds will respond and connect the themes to Louisville’s urban realities.

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM COMPASSION SHINING: AN INTERFAITH CELEBRATION
Curated by Ambassador Shabazz, a dynamic teacher and ideas architect.

The first night of the 22nd Festival of Faiths is a joyful evening of music, song and soul at Louisville’s historic Cathedral of the Assumption. A celebration of the diverse faiths within our community and the wisdom, humanity and beauty that unites them. This event is free and open to the public. No ticket required.

Thursday, April 20

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: ISLAMIC PRAYER

with Dr. Ingrid Mattson

How do Muslims pray? Ingrid Mattson, a leading Muslim theologian in the West, describes the spiritual meaning of the words, movements and cycles of the Islamic canonical prayer. For one in every four human beings in the world the five prayers (salah) are part of their daily ritual. Prayer is one of the five tenets of Islam, the others being: the testimony of faith, charity, fasting and performing pilgrimage.

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM ‘WE ARE ALREADY ONE’ - RELIGION AND COMPASSION IN WORLD AFFAIRS
with Karen Armstrong, Ambassador Mathew Barzun and Noah Feldman moderated by William Vendley

Matthew Barzun, recent U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and a known internet pioneer and grassroots fundraiser, shares the stage with Karen Armstrong, renowned religions author and Noah Feldman, Harvard law professor and Middle East expert. They will explore a vision for world affairs as if compassion were the primary driving motivator for global exchange.

The session will be moderated by William Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace International, the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace. Short talks followed by a moderated discussion and audience question and response.

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM LIVING COMPASSION
with Rami Nashashibi, Joan Brown Campbell, Naomi Tutu and Kevin Cosby

What is the experience of compassion in action? Personal testimonies from visionaries that embody compassion and how and where their courageous acts had a transformative impact. Short talks followed by moderated discussion and audience question and response.

FACES OF COMPASSION A special video segment focusing on local Louisville heroes working on the front lines.

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM COMPASSION RISING
Artistic performances curated by provocative poet, Hannah Drake, creator of sustainable theatre initiative Nstages and Rymes4AReason, Charles Nasby and youth advocate-and-mentor Rebecca Katz.

Poetry slam, music, dance and performance with local artists to awaken an authentically compassionate public narrative. An evening celebrating the compassion that is everywhere in the everyday commonplace and the familiar. Artists shine a light on the extraordinary in the ordinary daily work of resilience, love and sacrifice made by so many, like ripples of water polishing a stone.

Friday, April 21

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: CHRISTIAN CENTERING PRAYER

with Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault

Centering Prayer is described as “a receptive prayer of resting in God.” Centering Prayer emphasizes interior silence and prayer as a personal relationship with God and as “a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Christ.” Its roots are found in the contemplative prayer of the Desert Fathers of early Christian monasticism, in the Lectio Divina tradition, and in Christian mystical works like The Cloud of Unknowing and the writings of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.

Episcopal priest and writer Cynthia Bourgeault has worked closely with Fr. Thomas Keating, founder of the Centering Prayer method, for nearly 25 years and is the author of the acclaimed book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening.

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM THE SCIENCE OF COMPASSION
with Mind and Life Institute, curated by Susan Bauer-Wu
Introduction by Thupten Jinpa, chair of the board of directors for Mind & Life Institute.

As a society, are we wired more for compassion or competition? Find out in this session exploring the intersection of science and wisdom. Representatives of the Mind and Life Institute share key findings from 30 years of scientific research and inquiry into compassion.

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM THE HEART OF COMPASSION - EXPLORING THE INTERIOR LANDSCAPE
with Thupten Jinpa, Cynthia Bourgeault and Ingrid Mattson

World renowned spiritual teachers identify the “inner voice” of compassion using the wisdom of the mystical, contemplative traditions. These wisdom keepers share insights and practices for cultivating compassion within a modern context of hyper activity and distraction.

Short talks followed by moderated discussion and audience question and response.

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM COMPASSION JAM: MUSIC IMPROV & COMEDY
curated by Louisville Orchestra Music Director Teddy Abrams, composer/pianist Rachel Grimes and educator/performer Jecorey ‘1200’ Arthur, with a special comedy set from “America’s Funniest Muslim” (CNN) Azhar Usman

An evening of musical improvisation promising to be a soulful and unique genre bending happening! Teddy Abrams, Rachel Grimes and Jecorey ‘1200’ Arthur curate a blend of eclectic musical styles, performers and improvisational experiments. An unmissable evening that unites and elevates us in the harmony of compassion.

This evening includes a unique comedy offering with Azhar Usman “One of the most important, relevant and hysterically funny guys out there!” – Margaret Cho. “Azhar Usman is very funny, deeply spiritual and extremely hairy. He’s like Zach Galifianakis meets Deepak Chopra—and funnier than you’d expect that combination to be.” – Russell Peters

Saturday, April 22 (all events at Spalding University)

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM SACRED PRACTICE: TIBETAN BUDDHIST COMPASSION MEDITATION
with Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel

This session will look into the Buddhist spiritual practices that assist in cultivating inward compassion. Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel writes, “For me, the purpose of practice is to bring ourselves back to our natural state. All the practices we engage are…moving away from self-focus, seeing the interdependent and empty nature of things, appreciating the richness of this sacred world and resting in the nature of mind – these provide us all with ways to return to something utterly simple and basic – something no one can tamper with or take away.”

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM COMPASSIONATE EARTH: VISIONS OF HEALTH AND HARMONY
with Congressman James Comer, Patrick Holden, Bishop Marc Andrus and Nana Firman, joined by Thupten Jimpa and Mayor Greg Fischer

It is Earth Day, and our sacred elements are where the rubber meets the road! Water, air and soil do not care about political borders and ideology. Speakers confront our global environmental problems and discuss local efforts to tackle the crisis.

Short “ignite” talks by Congressman James Comer and Patrick Holden on faith and farming, Bishop Marc Andrus and Nana Firman on the connection between faith and conservation, and others. The session will conclude with a conversation between Thupten Jinpa and Mayor Greg Fischer on what Louisville needs to do to truly shine like the sun.

How do we cultivate ecological awareness in our communities? How can we, as individuals, communities and nations of many faiths, respond to the environmental crisis of our times in a compassionate, constructive and collaborative way? Panelists share their wisdom and insight into how we can reconnect with the natural world, shift our relationship to the earth from one of separateness to one of deep interconnection and transform the dominant social narrative so that we may reimagine our future together.

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM EARTH DAY COMMUNITY LUNCH
catered by Farm to Fork

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM THE NATURE OF INTERDEPENDENCE
with Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, Bishop Marc Andrus and others

A conversation on the nature of interdependence from both eastern and western faith traditions.

Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel has studied and practiced the Buddhadharma for 30 years under the guidance of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. After meeting Rinpoche in Nepal, she became his first Western student. Elizabeth has an academic background in both Anthropology and Buddhist Studies, but her learning is also grounded in practice.

Bishop Marc Andrus is a longtime environmental advocate, represented the Episcopal Church at the Earth Day signing of the Paris Agreement at the invitation of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He also joined an Episcopal delegation in December that represented the presiding bishop and the church at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP21, where 196 parties created the agreement that sets out to decrease carbon emissions and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.