Pelosi, Questlove Headline September’s Atlantic Festival

Leaders in Business, Politics and Culture Gather in Penn Quarter

Senator Kamala Harris is interviewed at the Atlantic Festival in 2018, with Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and president of Emerson Collective. Photo Courtesy: The Atlantic Festival

Next week, from September 24th-26th, some of the most influential and inspiring leaders in business, politics, and culture will gather for the 2019 Atlantic Festival.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, musician Questlove, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki are among the more than one hundred speakers that will enlighten, galvanize, and entertain festival guests.

Held in partnership with the Aspen Institute, The Atlantic Festival is a celebration of knowledge and seeks to grapple with the most important problems of today. Over the course of three days, fifty events will be spread across ten stages in the Penn Quarter neighborhood.

Programs will take place within a three-block radius at Sidney Harman Hall (610 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004), Rosa Mexicano (575 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004), and Hotel Monaco (700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004). The main stage, called The Ideas Stage, will be at Sidney Harman Hall and will host the keynote speakers.

Margaret Low, President, AtlanticLIVE, on The Ideas Stage in 2018. Photo Courtesy: The Atlantic Festival

Programs include panels, interviews with Atlantic Monthly editors, receptions, book talks, community partner tours and experiences, screenings, and topic-focused lunches. Panel topics range from ‘Military in the Age of AI’ to ‘Women of Washington’ to ‘What Animals Teach Us’. With over thirty hours of programming over three days, the breadth of topics is diverse and far-reaching.

Founded in 2009 as The Washington Ideas Forum, in 2018 the festival was renamed The Atlantic Festival and increased its scope. Last year, the festival hosted programs with luminaries such as Senator Kamala Harris, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and Chef José Andrés.

Tickets are required for the event and can be purchased on The Atlantic Festival website. Tickets with access to all festival events cost $350, but students receive a 50% discount. Discounted tickets to the events being held off the Ideas Stage are also available. Learn more and book yours by visiting or emailing