In 2016, our 21st Festival of Faiths focused on Sacred Wisdom: Pathways to Nonviolence. Festival activities included Enso calligraphy with Zen Master Dae Gak of the Furnace Mountain Retreat Center and a sand mandala created by the monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery, and concluded with a compassion walk. The walk, from our venue at Actor’s Theatre to the Ohio River, was made silently through the streets of downtown and culminated with pouring the sand from the mandala into the Ohio River.

Festival sessions covered a wide range of topics including Islamophobia, Black Lives Matter, gun violence, and the media and the public trust.

As we examined various pathways to compassion and peace, the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association took place concurrently and across the street from the Festival.