FESTIVAL CENTER INC

Rating: 4.71 stars   24 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Education, Human Services, Religion

Location: 1640 Columbia Rd NW Washington DC 20009 USA

Mission: The Festival Center's vision is to empower and equip people to live authentically and to embody now what God calls the world to be ultimately. We work to carry out our vision by by empowering persons and faith organizations on the inward/outward journey of Christian discipleship; collaborating with other missions of compassion and justice; awakening the world to the crises of our time; evoking people’s calls and gifts, and enlisting them as servant leaders in transforming the world.
Geographic areas served: Washington DC Metro Area (primarily)
Programs: Servant Leadership School, Noon Day Prayer, Discipleship Year, and Festival Foods
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 52-1499111
202-328-0072
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

The Festival Center, Inc. is a highly visible orgnization in the multicultural and economic diverse Adams-Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. A faith based organization having grown out of the Church of the Saviour, it is the home of the Servant Leadership School, it's primary focus. At the School courses are taught in basic, core understanding of the Christian faith with a strong emphasis on social justice. For 22 years individuals and groups have come from the DC metropoliton area and from acrosss the continent for classes and special conferences. It has developed a strong local leadership team but also draws on outstanding scholars and activists in the fields of Biblical Studies, theology, civil rights and other aspects of social justice. It's Servant Leadership School has helped to birth a number of similar schools across the country, Memphis, TN.; Greensboro, NC; and Waco, Texas are examples. It is a warm, welcoming place for the neighborhood and those who come from afar. It houses meetings for a number of churches in the neighborhood including an Hispanic congregation and many churches hold meetings there. It is the home office of Tell the Word, an speaker and publishing organization whose goal is to speak the truth to power. It is the home of Spiritual Support groups which bring together racially and economically diverse groups for in-depth sharing. It is a bridge between cultures. It has a job training program , Festival Foods, .which prepares persons to work in the food industry. It sponsors a Discipleship Year program which houses interns and places them in local ministries. It provides Andrews House, a guest house where people can stay who come to olearn from and participate in the innovative ministries birthed by the ecumenical, the Church of the Saviour. It sponsors mentors and programs for persons returning to society from incarceration. It houses the offices of a number of ministries. It offers individual spiritual mentoring through a spiritual direction program referred to as "spiritual companions." It truly has been and is a life changing place for thousands of people in its 22 year history.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

countless ways--in depth learning experiences which have expanded my knowldege in areas beyond my previous knowledge and expertise. I've experienced very gracious hospitality on literally hundreds of occasions and cannot even imagine what my life would be like without the community, warmth and knowledge I've found there.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find ways to further increase the diversity of its clientele and give a Certicate in Servant Leadership to those who have compled the school's core classes. The purpose of the organization is service.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

The Festival Center is like a home, which imeans that you experience EVERYTHING there. This is not a corporation, this is a community-held, messy, wonderful little place to go and touch base, quite apart from the official course offerings and groups and so on, those are also good! It is a point of entry for relationship to real people and holds within its walls much pain, laughter, and non curriculum-based learning. I love the Festival Center and go there every day to water the plants and talk with some people I know.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my personal journey through the neighborhood.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

keep in mind that leadership is a quantity very hard to define and hard to hold. I cherish the present leadership personally and wish to support them.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Festival Center has been the hub for a configuration of worship and community service organizations which have served disadvantaged, immigrant, ex-offenders, and many other communities at risk in the Metropolitan area. It employs some of these people as staff and serves many hundreds of them each year to help find work, housing, medical assistance; it also enlists supportive services available from the District of Columbia Government on their behalf. Volunteers help low-income residents receive badly needed income tax refunds every spring. For a considerable period of time, it housed a year-round, 30-day intensive withdrawal program for individuals assigned by the courts. That program moved to a new location last year.

The various outreach programs are supported by a host of volunteers, inspired by a faith community which is very small but extremely committed. The programs exist only because of the generosity of the members of this community and the fundraising efforts of those involved in the individual service entities. All of the latter are well-established and proven in their effectiveness at meeting goals at minimal cost: there is no question that donor dollars are used with the utmost care and economy. On a scale of A-F, I would give the community which it serves an A+++ for effectiveness and economy. And, wonder of wonders, when something doesn't work, it ends. Where else do you find that???

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I see the results in the interaction of people of all colors, races, genders in the Adams Morgan area, and the transformation of lives there as a result of programs here and in related group activities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

GIVE THEM MORE MONEY, which they use so carefully.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I had the privilege of participating in the Discipleship Year program several years ago, taking classes at the Servant Leadership School, and being involved in the Festival Center community through churches, conferences, classes, noon prayer, and other events. The beauty of The Festival Center is a beautiful gift to the community of Adams Morgan, opening its doors to people of all races, classes, ages, and places in life. Especially moving is the way they have ice water, coffee, and bathrooms to those on the street who need them. The Discipleship Year program in particular was a life-changing experience, with the chance to live in community, work at a nearby non-profit, and intentionally explore areas of race, gender, class, social justice, and spirituality in a nurturing community. So grateful for the Festival Center!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The Festival Center and its programs helped me discern my future as a social worker. I have seen racial reconciliation and transformation happen here. The center helps those who are looking for entry level jobs receive chef training, and transforms the spiritual and social perspectives of many who enter its doors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I cannot think of any changes - this is a fantastic organization that should be supported and sustained, especially in its struggle with and commitment to diversity and spiritual growth for all.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from Guidestar