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Festival of Faiths

Festival of Faiths

25th Anniversary Festival of Faiths
Sacred Stories: Contemplation and Connection

Various Venues See 'Event Details' section for info


After careful consideration, we have decided to postpone our 25th Anniversary Festival of Faiths in light of health concerns stemming from the COVID-19 virus. This decision was made after much reflection and was deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of our attendees of all ages, as well as speakers, staff, volunteers and the community at large. Given health officials’ increased calls for social distancing (reducing close contact), we believe that proceeding with the Festival April 21-25, 2020 would pose unnecessary risk.

Location: See below for venue addresses and directions
Ages:  All ages
Price: Single Event Tickets are $20.00 through March 15th, $25.00 starting March 16th. 
Tickets for Night of A Thousand Stars: A Kentucky Supper are $150.00.

Festival Passes are $325.00  

Festival Pass Includes:
• Access to every session of the 2020 Festival of Faiths, April 21-25 
• Receptions before “After Hours” programs on Wednesday, 4/22 and Thursday, 4/23
• Option to register for special Friday 4/24 evening program and dinner at a discount
• General Admission seating

Festival Passes purchased in advance can be picked up at the box office beginning 4/17.

More information about Festival of Faiths events can be found at


Bomhard Theater - The Kentucky Center, 501 W Main St | Get Directions

Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S 5th St  | Get Directons

Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N 6th St | Get Directions 

Seelbach Hilton, 500 S 4th St | Get Directions

The 25th Anniversary Festival of Faiths, Sacred Stories: Contemplation and Connection, is a multi-day, multi-faith nationally acclaimed celebration of music, poetry, art, film and dialogue featuring spiritual leaders, practitioners and teachers. 
The 2020 festival explores the power of sacred stories to inspire meaning and purpose. Speakers and artists will examine the wisdom at the heart of ancient narratives, foster communication and connection through storytelling, challenge false narratives about faith, and engage with contemporary topics of concern through the teachings and practices of our enduring faith traditions.  

Tuesday, April 21

5:30 PM || Opening Interfaith Celebration || Cathedral of the Assumption
The 25th Annual Festival of Faiths officially begins with a special welcome and opening event at the Festival’s birthplace, the Cathedral of Assumption. Festival guests will gather in prayer and celebration.

Wednesday, April 22

8:30 AM || Spiritual Practice || Bomhard Theater
Omid Safi
Prayer and Fasting Secrets of Islamic Practices

10:00 AM || Sacred Stories: Honoring Ancient Wisdom || Bomhard Theater
Omid Safi, Shmuly Yanklowitz, Anam Thubten
Discover the power of the stories that shaped faith traditions in ancient times and continue to resonate and inspire us today. Learn how these centuries-old stories can ignite deep contemplation, spark meaningful action, and impact our future.

1:30 PM || City Narratives: Building Compassionate Communities || Bomhard Theater
Mayor Greg Fischer, Mayor Nan Whaley, Mayor Christine Hunchofsky, Richie Davidson and Daniel Goleman
A conversation with select mayors on trauma in their cities and the subject of resilience and emotional wellbeing as civic values. Preeminent thought leaders Dr. Richie Davidson and Dr. Daniel Goleman share current research on social and emotional intelligence as applied to compassion as a civic value.

4:00 PM || Special Film Screening || Muhammad Ali Center, Auditorium
Details forthcoming

7:00 PM || After Hours: The Story of Louisville || Bomhard Theater
Mayor Greg Fischer, Sadiqa Reynolds – President, Louisville Urban League, Marty Pollio – Superintendent of JCPS, Neeli Bendapudi – President, University of Louisville, Karina Barillas Executive Director, La Casita Center
Festival Chairs Owsley Brown III and Mayor Greg Fischer invite local leaders to share their personal stories of transformation and epiphany and how these moments shaped their lives, work and connection to the place called “Louisville.” 

Thursday, April 23

8:30 AM || Spiritual Practice || Bomhard Theater
Anam Thubten
Choosing Compassion – How to Be of Benefit in a World That Needs Our Love  

10:00 AM || Modern Stories of Sacred Communities || Bomhard Theater 
Pico Iyer, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Lyla June, David Katznelson
Speakers offer contemporary visions of spiritual communities rooted in contemplative and community practice. Living examples will be offered from a variety of faith perspectives as well as models rooted in activism, monasticism, and arts and culture.

1:30 PM || False Narratives About Faith || Bomhard Theater
John Fea, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Omid Safi, Ramtin Arablouei and Rund Abdelfatah from “Throughline”
A discussion covering the stereotypes, assumptions and miscalculations that have historically been woven through various faith traditions. How do these misunderstandings happen and how might they be overcome? 

4:00 PM || Special Film Screening || Muhammad Ali Center, Auditorium
Details forthcoming

7:00 PM || After Hours: Sacred Stories, New Media || Bomhard Theater
Michael Gungor, Lee Hale, Brie Stoner, Ramtin Arablouei and Rund Abdelfatah from “Throughline”
An exploration of how ancient stories are discovered and discussed in an age of constant connection and content overload. The evening will feature discussions among a diverse group of people currently using the medium of podcasting to push conversations about faith. 

Friday, April 24

8:30 AM || Storytelling Practice || Bomhard Theater
Murray Nossel
Experience firsthand how to excavate, craft and tell personal stories that ignite a strong connection to others.

10:00 AM || Millennials and Boomers Discuss Faith || Bomhard Theater 
Brie Stoner, Lyla June, Lee Hale
How do people of varying generations communicate about the sacred, and how do they find encouragement and inspiration from each other even when their approaches are very different? Hear conversations between members of both generations looking to find the best ways to share spiritual stories together.

1:30 PM || Finding The Story You Need to Tell Now || Bomhard Theater
Pico Iyer, Sharon Salzberg, bell hooks with special guest
Acclaimed essayists, novelists and cultural theorists come together to share insights on how contemplation and connection shape personal and community narratives and how they deepen our understanding of identity and belonging.

5:00 PM || Concert: 25 Works to Celebrate 25 Years || Cathedral of the Assumption
The Festival of Faiths is excited to announce “25 for 25,” twenty-five new compositions co-curated by Owsley Brown III and Teddy Abrams for this year’s Festival. Globally sourced, locally performed, these new musical meditations are celebrations from various genres and faiths.

7:00 PM || Night of A Thousand Stars: A Kentucky Supper || Seelbach Hilton
Following 25 Works to Celebrate 25 Years, join us as we revive a longtime Festival of Faiths fundraising event. The Night of A Thousands Stars will celebrate our Festival of Faiths heritage while imagining the next 25 years uniquely marked by signature Kentucky hospitality.

Saturday, April 25

10:00 AM || Closing Session: The Future of Faith || Bomhard Theater
Matthew Barzun
Led by Louisville’s own Matthew Barzun, former U.S. Ambassador to the UK and Sweden and currently co-founder of Tortoise Media (London) and Publisher of Louisville Magazine. Join a lively community conversation, called a "ThinkIn," about the issues surrounding religion and spirituality now, what might lay ahead, and how that might change our lives. Join the discussion and help shape the way we imagine the future of faith in our world.

12:00 PM || The 25th Annual Festival of Faiths Closing Celebration || Belvedere

Accessibility Services available for this event:

Accessible Seating
Assistive Listening System

accessible seating  assistive listening        

For more information contact the Access Services Hotline at (502) 566-5111 (V) or (502) 566-5140 (TTY) or email Access Services. Additional information can also be found online here.

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Covid-19 Coronavirus

Following Governor Andy Beshear’s executive order outlining specific steps all public-facing businesses should take to contain and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), all Kentucky Performing Arts venues are temporarily closed.