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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Festival Center Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Christianity, Civil Rights, Education, Educational Services, Human Services, Neighborhood Centers, Religion

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

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

The Festival Center is an amazing place with an open door to the community. This place of unique connectivity, birthed out of the dynamic Church of the Saviour, is growing to become a model of racial reconciliation, social and restorative justice, and a place of spiritual contemplation. It is a place where seekers who are trying to find their way are welcome to immerse into a community. It is a place with a solid Christian base, complemented by an ecumenical outreach that is inclusive and relevant to serve our present age. The Festival Center is Home to the Servant Leadership School with classes in reconciliation, prayer, scripture, community, holy sharing of power, mutually liberating relationships, social, economic, and ecological justice. This model has been imitated throughout the United States and as far away as Seoul, South Korea. Many churches worship in the center, with a Latino Congregation, and what that is diverse with many congregants from the continent of Africa. Spiritual Support Groups meet, Alcohol and Narcotics Anonymous meet here. Some of the tenants in the Building are Little Bird Acupuncture, Jubilee Housing, Faith and Money Network, Community Ladders, Office of the Church of the Saviour, and Jubilee Support Alliance. Space is available to rent, we have conference rooms, a beautiful small chapel, a large room that can be divided into 3 spaces, and a roof top terrace. It is a remarkable place that serves our community well and beyond. Come by and visit the staff and our board of directors who are a working board, fully vested in the mission of the Festival Center.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I have enjoyed a relationship with the Festival Center and their excellent staff since 1997. My wedding reception was held there and presently I am a member of a group that utilizes their facility on Saturday and Sundays. Additionally, I have attended their Servant Leadership Classes and my place of employment holds a graduation there four times a year. The staff is excellent and open to comments and idea. In my opinion, the Festival Center is an asset to residents of the Columbia Height community and the District of Columbia as a whole.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been affiliated with the Festival Center since December 1999 when I came to a day-long even with Ched Myers, which opened up my world to a new world of Christian spirituality, leadership and service that I had only dreamed was possible. Going to the Festival Center that day transformed my life.

I was introduced to the umbrella of ministries that support the Festival Center and the church that helped bring it into existence. I have participated in classes at the Servant Leadership School, used the space at the Center for 12-step meetings, and worked on the second floor of the facility when it housed Samaritan Inns' 28-day treatment facility.

While I love the family-feel of the Festival Center and am grateful for the availability of its space and affordability, I think that it dreams too small for itself and could be of greater service to the city if it had a higher profile.

I also know that the Festival Center has struggled financially and think that raising its profile might make it attractive to a larger circle of people and organizations, which could increase its funding potential. It is a remarkable place and my life wouldn't be the same without it.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am President/CEO of a social service organization that uses the services of Festival Center. This organization and its staff represents the ideal of true service to the community. They are humble; they are responsive; they retain nothing - always giving back. We use the facilities on a regular basis to conduct our graduation ceremonies - they like us are a poor organization, yet they charge us nothing for the use. They are more than willing to put energy into coordinating schedules of various groups/organizations to accommodate the needs of everyone - they do this cheerfully.

Donor

Rating: 4

The Festival Center is a place of learning, activity, and service to the community, especially to the poor. I have been attending classes at the School of Servant Leadership there since it opened its doors in 1990. My small church meets there every Monday night. The Board members and teachers serve without pay. The staff views their jobs as a "calling".

The classes I've taken have enriched my life. They have opened my eyes to the needs of a suffering world. As a result I have served on boards of other charities, such as Joseph's House (a hospice for homeless men with AIDS and cancer) and The Family Place (a drop-in center for [mostly] Latino immigrants with young children.

In classes and in various projects I made friends who are different from myself in race, language, and economic status. This has opened my heart to want to become a "servant leader" myself.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a place of welcome and learning where everyone who comes is encouraged to discover and share their own voice and vision. This happens through classes, event gatherings, a set-aside time of prayers at noon, and being a bridge daily among folks of diverse cultures and economic groups. If you are open to having your mind and heart expanded, this is the place. Not only for the formally educated, the so-called "power holders" of our society, but people from all walks of life. Check into the next term of classes, or attend the Tuesday evening speaker series. That's a good starting place to discover for yourself what the Festival Center is about.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am intern with the Discipleship Year program, which means I have trouble choosing categories from the drop-down menu above. Am I a client served, or am I a volunteer? I think that this dilemma encapsulates the essence of Church of the Savior. All of us are receiving while we give, and all of us are giving while we receive. This year, I've taken classes and taught classes at the Servant Leadership School. I've been brought dinner by the local support team, and have baked bread for my class of students at my volunteer site, the Academy of Hope. I love this way of being Christ's hands and heart in the world. We do try to live the prayer of St Francis in the heart of DC. I'm quite fortunate to be here.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The Festival Center is a place that is designed to make people feel at home, to make them feel like they can enter with dignity. I was always impressed with the way it was kept up- clean and nice decor- because that says something about the way they respect and take care of anyone who comes through the door.
The classes I participated in while I was there helped me to grow as a person. From yoga to money to spirituality- the Festival Center offers so many ways for individuals to grow and learn.
The staff was always friendly, warm, and wonderful.
Keep it up!

Bob C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am active in charity and social justice in the DC area. For the past 30 plus years, since I moved to DC area, I have been extremely impressed with the many works of the Church of the Savior outreach ministries, of which the Festival Center is one.

The Festival Center serves its immediate Adams Morgan neighborhood and the whole DC area in many ways. Its Servant Leadership School does great work in training people in the area how to serve others as a co-worker, not a superior and not as an inferior.

It helps the immediate neighborhood in many ways every day. I have been involved as a donor to Jubilee Jobs, another outreach ministry of the Church of the Savior, that provides model job placement and long term employment upgrading for its clients. Meetings and dinners of the clients are held at the Festival Center regularly as are many other meetings for neighborhood groups.

I cannot think of any organization that does a better job for the people of Adams Morgan and the greater DC area than the Festival Center and other ministries of the Church of the Savior. If every city had a Festival Center and Church of the Savior, we would like in a much better world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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???

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5


I feel priviledged to be a part of the board these many years later and am excited about the way we are re-imagining the role of the center and the school in supporting new avenues for faith and justice in 2011.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Festival Center provides needed educational resources, inspirational worship and retreat opportunities, and services to the under-served population of Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights in northwest Washington, DC.

Under the leadership of the Church of the Saviour, the Festival Center is the home base for Samaritan Inn 28-day detox centers, Discipleship Year, Jubilee Jobs, Jubilee Housing and 50 other ministries.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It's exciting to be part of the Festival Center community as we discover together how God wants to use us in the world! We want to be a "lighthouse," shining God's word and work of justice and hope.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Festival Center gave me a great opportunity when I came to this country. I founded leadership which look for justice, peace and Human Rigths. I learned how is possible bring news hopes and news dreams to people who are suffering poverty and discrimination.

Today as a Board member I am blessed when I see lifes transformed, that are working for extend the justice, peace and hope to another people.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I've been blessed to be in association with Festival Center for more than a decade. I've attended workshops, wedding and funerals there as well as classes at the Servant Leadership School. Festival Center provides a place of renewal, rejoicing and healing.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Festival Center is unique in offering a gathering place for the neighborhood, classes that help build my spiritual grounding, opportunities to engage in community involvement, and a place for daily prayers at noon. It is a rich resource for this metro area, bringing together people with diverse educational, financial, religious and racial backgrounds.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Festival center is becoming a neighborhood meeting place as well as a source of informative and inspirational groups and classes that attract diverse attendees who are interested in exploring practical spirituality.
The quiet chapel space is open every day to anyone in the neighborhood for prayer and meditation.

Review from Guidestar