Barbara Jones, Ward 8 resident and Washington, D.C.'s special envoy to the World Cultural Festival (Marckell Williams/The Washington Informer)
Barbara Jones, Ward 8 resident and Washington, D.C.'s special envoy to the World Cultural Festival (Marckell Williams/The Washington Informer)

The fourth World Culture Festival will take place on the National Mall from Sept. 29 – Oct. 1.

Occurring every five years, close to 250,000 global citizens, from over 100 countries,  are expected to descend on Washington, D.C.  

The gathering is being convened by Mayor Muriel Bowser and world-renowned humanitarian Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation. According to organizers, it will be “a grand occasion to celebrate a rich tapestry of cultures from every corner of the globe.”

“D.C.’s status as a multicultural capital will be emphasized throughout the three-day extravaganza,” the organizers emphasized.

With so many cultures coming together for the event, attendees will get a taste of D.C., which will feature go-go, the official music of the city.

People will “come together on the National Mall for a celebration of culture, diversity, and unity,” said Mayor Bowser. “As Washington, D.C., welcomes the world, we invite all global citizens to join us in honor of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s message that diversity is the beauty of creation. It is the foundation of our D.C. values and the reason we are so excited to host World Culture Festival.”

In addition to go-go, other highlights will include a diverse international food festival featuring more than 80 sustainable food trucks,  performers from over 35 countries, Yoga for Unity, and a special Meditation for World Peace. All eight of the District’s wards will be involved in the cultural events.

At a recent press conference, Shankar was asked about the symbolism of the festival being hosted in Washington right after the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington. 

“You’re right, our program is just one month after Dr. Martin Luther King’s march to Washington, D.C.,” he responded. “And he said, ‘I Have a Dream.’ Now the Art of Living World Culture Festival will rekindle that dream, rekindle hope in people to say, ‘Yes, we have to work together to address problems inflicting our society … whether it’s eliminating poverty, eliminating stress and violence … to addressing food security, and environmental issues.’ Let’s wake up and see the whole world as one family. .”

Ward 8 lifelong resident and community activist Barbara Jones was appointed Special Envoy to the nation’s capital. 

“Can you imagine the stage? It’s going to be better than the halftime at the Super Bowl. And it’s a free event! It’s a three-day event and we are expecting over 100,000 people each day. All eyes are on D.C.,” said Jones. “We are going to show the world that we can come together in peace and love and harmony. We are one.”

Austin R. Cooper, Jr., serves as the President of Cooper Strategic Affairs, Inc. The firm provides legislative, political and communications counsel in Washington, D.C., for governmental, nonprofit and...

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