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Freedom Forum Invites All to Celebrate First Amendment Freedoms

Fritz Mulhauser | September 1, 2023

The D.C. Open Government Coalition and friends will be sampling the creative events to be offered by the Freedom Forum at its “1A Fest,” Saturday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. at The Wharf – Transit Pier (9th St. and Maine Ave., S.W.), Washington, D.C. RSVP here.

From the Forum

At Freedom Forum’s 1A Fest, enjoy family-friendly outdoor games and activities. Visit a fictional world with free lunch – but no First Amendment – at immersive theatrical experience Freedom Lost Café. Put your freedoms into action. Be inspired by stories of young people who have stood up for their rights. Go behind the scenes of news and satire. Close the day with free comedy performances and live music. 

Be there. Have fun. Be free! 

Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) foundation dedicated to fostering First Amendment freedoms for all. As the nation’s foremost advocate for First Amendment freedoms, Freedom Forum engages thousands of Americans each year in classes, conversations and celebrations of these essential rights. Its vision is an America where everyone knows, values and defends the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. 

11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Freedom Lost Café  

Visit fictional NoFreedonia for lunch to taste what it’s like when First Amendment freedoms are suddenly stripped away. Lunch is free, but the cost is your freedoms. After the performance, chat with us about your experience and connect with experts on hand to share more about your regained freedoms. 

Lunch seatings for Freedom Lost Café at The Brighton, 949 Wharf St. SW, Washington, D.C., are at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Lunch reservation here.

This immersive theater experience features professional actors. It is recommended for ages 13 and up, and discretion is advised. It may contain content you find offensive. 

11 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Interactive games and activities 

See stories of the First Amendment at work. View news headlines from across the country. Put your freedom into action. Plus, enjoy family fun outdoor games, face painting, photo ops and a scavenger hunt. Enjoy family fun outdoor games, face painting, photo ops and a scavenger hunt.

1 p.m. – 4 p.m. | On-stage talks

The Onion: Comedy, Controversy and Free Speech

Head writer Mike Gillis and staff writer Nick Mehendale discuss how press freedom protects poking fun for satire site The Onion.

TikTok TV: The New News

Vitus “V” Spehar of “Under the Desk News” shares how they use their First Amendment rights to deliver relatable news.

Athletes, Activism and the First Amendment

Nate Boyer, a former NFL player and retired member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, gives the inside story of a conversation with Colin Kaepernick that led to Kaepernick taking a knee — rather than sitting — during the national anthem.

4 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Live entertainment

Rahmein Mostafavi 

Creator and host of “Couples Therapy: A Comedy Show” at The DC Improv Comedy Club, Amazon Prime and Sirius XM

Ron Funches

Comedian and actor, “Loot”

JWX: The Jarreau Williams Experience

“A funk genius.”

Support for the 1A Fest is provided by: Curtis T. Bell Trust, Charles and Andrea Overby, and Williams & Connolly LLP