The RP: Join Me at The Festival of Faiths

Louisville’s reputation outside Kentucky rests, in part, on baseball bats, fried chicken, Muhammad Ali, and a horse race, but now one must add the Festival of Faiths to that list.

There’s never been more of a cynical curmedgon than David Hawpe, the former editor of  the Louisville Courier-Journal.  So his glowing endorsement of this week’s upcoming 16th annual celebration of the Festival of Faiths is something for all to take notice.

Read Hawpe’s entire piece here.

This year’s event — entitled Sacred Air: Breath of Life — takes place from November 2nd – 7th, and it reaffirms our commitment to come together as many faiths, united in our mutual respect for each other, so that we can engage in common action on behalf of our community.

The chair of the festivities, Christy Brown, is one of Kentucky’s greatest treasures.  Recently widowed from her extraordinary husband Owsley Brown II (whom I briefly eulogized here), Christy has shared her heart, soul, and considerable talents transforming the Festival of Faiths into an internationally-celebrated event.  

Both the Mrs. RP and I are proud to take part in the festivities.

Lisa has helped organize a full day of Yoga, Tai Chi and Meditation exercise. A wide range of movement and breathing exercises will be available, suitable to every level from beginner to proficient, and appropriate for families as well as individuals. Classes will be offered continually throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.  For details, click here.

I will be joining a panel on Friday afternoon, from 3:00-4:30 PM in the Tavern Room at the Henry Clay at 604 South Third Street in Louisville. At this session, participants will be developing a Statement of Belief for the festival, in order to leave the week with a powerful call to action.  The goal of the session is to come up with evidence of actions and steps to present to churches, synagogues, mosques, religious organizations, and other leadership bodies.

The Festival line-up that week includes panels and workshops with notable individuals including author and activist Bill McKibben and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Professor Mary Evelyn Tucker, to name a few.

The exciting line-up of speakers also includes:

Coleman Barks
Lisa Starr
Alec Loorz
Dr. Gorden Tobin
Dr. Robert Powell
Dr. Jesse Roman
Dr. Matthew Zahn
Dr. Michael Bousamra
Gina McCarthy
Roger Gottlieb 
Dr. Martin Marty
Senator John Marty
Eboni Neal Cochran
Elizabeth Crowe
Rev. Michael McClain
Carol Norton
Hamza Yusuf
Rabbi Joe Rapport
Chief Francois Paulette
Bill Logan
Tim Darst

The Festival will also host screenings of award winning films, including “Air: The Search for One Clean Breath”, “Journey of the Universe“, “Carbon Nation”, and YERT, among others. 

Click here for the Festival-At-A-Glance schedule.   

Please visit for more information about this year’s programming.  If you would be interested in volunteering to help broaden our community’s interfaith conversation please click here

We look forward to seeing you at the Festival!


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