We chatted with individuals behind the weekend-long event bringing thousands together through workshops focused on creativity, self-expression and enlightenment.
In 2016, local resident Chris Rodriguez wanted to gather his friends and community members together for a weekend of conversation, activities and connection in a small space on 14th Street in Washington, DC.
Fast forward five years later, and the former grassroots operation has become the Interfusion Festival, a five-day affair attracting thousands of people from across the country to Arlington to celebrate holistic wellness and human expression.
“It’s become so much larger than I could even imagine,” says Rodriguez, who serves as president of the Institute for Integrative Wellness. “It started as just something for my friends and I to do for some head space, and now it’s really become a movement.”
From Thursday, Jan. 16 until Monday, Jan. 20, nearly 120 workshops, parties and discussions will take place inside the Crystal Gateway Marriott, all led by artists, health professionals and experts in social connection. On the schedule, guests will find anything from a lesson in acro yoga to scientific-based lectures on sexuality to candlelit meditations and so much more. The point of it all, according to Rodriguez, is to “elevate individual and collective consciousness.”
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Sun Park—an artist and educator from Atlanta who has been part of the 200-person team behind the operation since last year—describes the annual festival as a “unicorn,” due to the degree of professionalism involved in the entire process.
“When I saw it [the festival] for the first time, I was in awe from a distance,” says Park. “It’s a beautiful platform to bring the community together to open up spaces inside of ourselves that we normally don’t explore alone, let alone with strangers.”
No matter the event you take part in, whether it’s healing arts or expressive movement, each workshop gives participants the chance to refresh the mind or body, led by experienced professionals. Plus, there will be a variety of wellness-focused goods on sale throughout the five-day festival, including sound bowls, candles, yoga mats and more.
For Park, the power of the event is its ability to connect people in an era that generally lacks human connection.
“We’re at a really interesting time in humanity right now, in that we are seeing a lot of cracks in the system. We are shifting into a new decade, people are really questioning the old paradigms, whether that be systematically or internally,” explains Park. “What the festival does is hold space for what is coming in. There’s a reckoning with that. People are realizing this can’t be it and there has to be more. And so Interfusion provides the space for people to explore and question that.”
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