Arts and Culture Community

The Festival of Faiths beings this Wednesday, April 19. It is the 22nd year the festival, which focuses on interfaith relations and understanding, has been put on in Louisville.

Hannah Drake is a local spoken word artist who curated performers for “Compassion Rising,” an evening of artistic performances hosted by the festival. I spoke with Drake about “Compassion Rising,” how her faith informs her artistry, and how she believes the world can be changed. Listen to our conversation in the player above.

On how to be a “world-changer”:

“A lot of people think, you know. ‘I gotta be Malcolm X, I gotta be Martin Luther King, Jr., I gotta be Angela Davis, I gotta be Mother Teresa.’ You don’t have to be those people. Those people were those people. Everybody can not be called to do that. But everybody is called to do something if you really want to see change. And you can do that in small things. If you do small things daily, if everybody could just do a small thing daily, it would change the world.”

On how her spirituality and artistry are intertwined:

“One thing I am very interested in is liberation theology — how can you use theology and the word of God for liberation, because everything that I do [in my artwork] is about setting people free.”

On the diverse lineup she curated for “Compassion Rising”:

“I wanted it to be a variety of people. I wanted it to be a variety of ages, so it is very intergenerational. Different cultures, different races — because I wanted people to see all of us can come together of one accord to do one thing. It wasn’t like ‘This is an all-black event put on by a black girl named Hannah.’ I wanted it to be a mixture of all people, because that’s how the world is.

“We all have something to say, whether it was through playing music, through dance — we all had different faiths, what we believed in. But like I said, the undertone of what we wanted to see was compassion. It didn’t matter, none of that mattered.”

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.