FT Live, the global conferences and events division of the Financial Times Group, will host its second annual FTWeekend Festival: US Edition at the REACH at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C on Saturday, 20 May. The Festival will showcase the best of FT and FT Weekend journalism, exploring big ideas in culture, politics, literature, film and food. 

Topics will range from democratic capitalism, a revanchist Russia and the tech race with China, to space exploration, communicating with other species, and food and farming post-globalization. The exclusive lineup of world-renowned luminaries will contribute to a variety of panels, fireside chats and workshops, alongside some of the FT’s most distinguished journalists, including editor Roula Khalaf; US managing editor Peter Spiegel; US national editor and columnist Ed Luce; US editor-at-large Gillian Tett; chief economics commentator Martin Wolf and arts editor Jan Dalley.  

Festival highlights include:

  • Author Salman Rushdie joining virtually to discuss his new novel and career;
  • Academy Award-winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis in conversation with Christopher Grimes, FT LA bureau chief, about her career in Hollywood;
  • Orthopaedic doctor and skincare guru Dr. Barbara Sturm on breaking all the beauty rules with HTSI editor Jo Ellison; 
  • Bestselling author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates in conversation with Enuma Okoro, FT Life & Arts columnist; 
  • Chef, restaurateur and food activist Alice Waters in conversation with FT global business columnist Rana Foroohar; chef and author Dan Barber on the seed to table revolution; Casa Dragones Tequila co-founder and CEO Bertha González Nieves on rethinking Mexican food and drink;
  • Former Nasa administrator and astronaut Charles F. Bolden Jr on space exploration with FT innovation editor John Thornhill. 

Alec Russell, FT international editor and former FT Weekend editor, said:  “We are thrilled to be returning to Washington, D.C. for our second annual FTWeekend Festival. The world is moving at vertiginous speed and we have a host of pressing issues in our sights, from the repercussions of the recent banking crisis to the meaning of the China-Russia axis. Inspired by the spirit of the season, we intend to reinvigorate the debates over these thorny issues and much much more.”


For further information, please contact: Molly Eisner | | molly.eisner@ft.com

Notes to Editors

FTWeekend Festival: US Edition is presented in coordination with the Kennedy Center Campus Rentals Office and is not produced by the Kennedy Center. 

About the FTWeekend

FT Weekend Magazine is an eclectic mix of evocative stories and powerful photography, with investigations and features which span everything from global news to business and gastronomy to culture and sport. This publication is designed to entertain and inform; our readers can be sure to make the most of their leisure time with its uniquely stimulating combination of news and lifestyle features.

About the Financial Times

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of 1.2 million, more than one million of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.