Center for Interfaith Relations new Logo - 2015“Kentucky Voices Exploring Sacred Wisdom and Pathways to Nonviolence” is the title of the event marking the launch of the 2016 Festival of Faiths. It is also a celebration of what would have been author and monk Thomas Merton’s 101st birthday.

The festivities place at the Brown Theatre on Saturday, Jan. 30, kicking off with bluegrass music at 9:30 a.m., followed by Mayor Greg Fischer, honorary chair of the event, speaking at 10 a.m. Several announcements about the upcoming Festival of Faiths, which is May 17-21 at Actors Theatre, will be sprinkled throughout the day.

The rest of the event will feature spoken-word poetry by Hannah Drake, TED-style talks and a panel conversation on issues of pressing concern to our community.

According to a news release, “Four Kentucky voices — U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth; Christina Lee Brown, founder of the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil, as well as the Center for Interfaith Relations; Sadiqa Reynolds, president of the Urban League of Louisville; and Rabbi Nadia Siritsky, vice president of mission at KentuckyOne who is actively involved in violence protection efforts for spouses and teens — will share their personal journeys and how their faith informs and sustains the work to which they are called.”

Passes to the Festival of Faiths will be available at a 50 percent discount at the event. If you arrive early, you may receive a limited edition “Sacred Wisdom” print from Hound Dog Press.

The launch party is free, but seating is limited, so you should reserve a seat in advance.