Festival Center celebrates Grand Opening with nod toward sustainability, affordability

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Adoption of all-electric commercial training kitchen, solar panels, and energy efficiency measures allow community space to offer below-market-rent pricing


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Festival Center, an organization that has provided a community space for activists, artists, and mission-driven groups in the Adams Morgan neighborhood for the past 30 years, today unveiled its newly renovated space with key nods toward sustainability and energy efficiency. 

Beginning in 2020, the Festival Center overhauled its facilities with a number of sustainability and energy efficiency measures to drastically reduce the organization’s reliance on fossil fuels, including the adoption of a 500 square foot all-electric commercial training kitchen featuring four induction stoves. These measures, which include adopting highly efficient electric appliances and rooftop solar, have allowed the Festival Center to offer below-market-rate pricing for the more than 70 community groups and nonprofits that use its spaces, demonstrating how electrification can increase affordability while reducing emissions. 

“We are a community center, a safe space, where non-profits and faith communities seek to serve and advocate alongside the most vulnerable people in Washington DC in order to achieve concrete change and bring healing and justice for our city, nation, and world,” said Bill Mefford, Executive Director of the Festival Center. “We approached this renovation as an opportunity to live out our mission and provide a sustainable, affordable space that minimizes the use of fossil fuels for our partners and community members.” 

The Festival Center’s investments in electrification and energy efficiency come nearly a year after the D.C. Council voted to end the use of fossil fuels in new buildings beginning in 2026. In order to spread the economic, health, and environmental benefits of electrification to existing residents, the Council is currently considering legislation that would help 30,000 low-income households electrify their homes. 

“As the Executive Director of a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Common Good in our political system, having a presence in Washington D.C. is essential to our mission. That’s why the Festival Center is a dream come true for us – not only does it provide a home base for our team when we’re in town, but it also serves as a versatile space for meetings and events,” said Doug Pagitt, Executive Director of Vote Common Good. 

The renovation, undertaken to address community impact, creation of innovative programs, and building spaces for justice, includes an 800 square foot co-working space, a 1,540 square foot Community Room, and 27 rentable office spaces. Each year, the Festival Center partners with more than 25 advocacy organizations to build movements for justice and educates more than 300 individuals on nonprofit leadership. The center also welcomes more than 5,000 people each month. 

About the Festival Center:

For over 30 years, the Festival Center has served as a hub for activists, artists, people of faith and no faith, seekers, and mission-driven groups. Through hospitality, education, spiritual development, and advocacy, the Festival Center serves as a generative source for all people to work against all forms of oppression and to strive for a just city, nation, and world. To find out more, visit https://festivalcenter.org/

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