Map / General Info

ScheduleArt Installations

Getting There

Catharsis on the Mall 2018 will be held on the National Mall, south of Constitution Ave and west of 15th St NW, between the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial.

  • Nearest Metro: Smithsonian (Blue/Orange/Silver), 5-10 minute walk; Archives (Green/Yellow) 15-20 minute walk; Farragut North (Red) 15 minute walk
  • Driving Directions: German American Friendship Garden / 1600 Constitution Ave NW
  • Parking: Parking meters along the National Mall run from 7a-8p every day with a 3 hour limit. We discourage driving with plans to park. NPS Meter FAQ / alternative suggestions.

What can I expect?

Catharsis on the Mall 2018 will be held on the National Mall, in the shadow of the Washington Monument,from Friday, November 9 noon – Sunday, November 11 noon. Vigilers can expect to find: a like-minded community of participants who care about healing for ourselves, each other and our society; large scale art, workshops, speakers, music and activities during the day and evening; a variety of small scale local art provided by YOU; healing and gathering spaces; music and cathartic dancing on Saturday night until sunrise.

Schedule Summary

  • Friday 12:00 – 8:00pm: Workshops, panels, speakers, and live music
  • Friday 8:00 - 11:00pm: Opening ceremony, fire dancing and cathartic dancing with DJs; DJs continue until 3:00am
  • Saturday 10:00am – 8:00pm: Workshops, panels, speakers, DJs and dancing
  • Saturday 8:30pm: Ceremonial burning of the Temple with accompanying fire conclave performance
  • Saturday 10:00pm til Sunrise: DJs and Cathartic dancing
  • Sunday 6:00am: Sunrise March for Peace, Love and Disco to the White House and the Capitol with the Peace, Love and Disco Tank
  • Sunday 9:00am - noon: Concluding activities on the Mall

Cultural Appropiation & Respect

Appropriation of native traditions such as headdresses, war paint, faux native regalia / ceremony by non-native people are not welcome at Catharsis. They will cause active discomfort and disrespect to native people present. This is especially important since Catharsis takes place on occupied native land. If you bring them, we will approach you and may ask you to stop.

What should I bring?

Here is a short list of what to bring :

  • Whatever personal food and water you will need for your time at Catharsis
  • Warm clothes for Saturday night – we will have some heaters but last year got COLD
  • Flashlight / head lamp
  • Blankets, chairs, and/or mats
  • Small container for cigarette butt disposal, if you smoke
  • If traveling from out of town, plans for sleeping accommodations OFF the National Mall
  • Your active, creative spirit and energy, awareness of your own journey home and readiness to meet others in theirs

What NOT to bring:

  • Sleeping bags / overnight gear / intentions to sleep on the National Mall (our permit does not allow this)
  • Any form of campfire, fireworks, firearm, camping stove, generator or anything like this; including fire staffs (Unfortunately, the conclave is a closed jam!)

***Do not bring alcohol or any illegal substances, including cannabis*** Catharsis on the Mall is a vigil for healing and an acknowledgement of our journeys. It is a space for consciousness, not for inebriation. Furthermore, it is on public, federal property and all federal laws are in effect. Anyone found consuming or possessing alcohol or illegal substances on the National Mall will be immediately asked to leave by volunteers and organizers, and law enforcement will be on site and assisting in maintaining public safety and compliance with the law.


The National Mall is open for dogs as long as they are on leashes and they are welcome at Catharsis! If you are entering a dome or other largely enclosed space with your dog please double check if anyone has severe allergies. Note during fire performances there will be a perimeter but no hard fence. We would hate for your dog to run in and cause any safety issues for itself or the performers during that time. Please be aware and plan accordingly.

Will there be food and water available?

Our permit does not allow us to give out or sell food or water to participants beyond our direct volunteers, and opportunities to purchase food are limited around the National Mall, especially at night on the weekends. We strongly encourage you to bring enough food and water for yourself for the time you plan to be at Catharsis on the Mall. We will have some water on site in case of dehydration or other emergencies.


If you are visiting D.C. for Catharsis this year and you are looking to stay at a hotel, The Eaton Hotel is offering a 20% discount on rooms. Use their website to book your room and use the discount code: NIMPACT

“Eaton Hotel pioneers an interdisciplinary hotel experience to travelers seeking inspiration, innovation, and impact. We set the stage for residing guests, locals and house members to congregate around creativity and consciousness-building."

Safety and First Aid

We will have trained First Aid volunteers readily available on site during the core hours of the event (Friday 12 noon - Sunday 11:00am). Their clothing will be marked and they will be reachable by anyone with a radio. The First Aid team is not a medical team, we will not provide any Emergency medical care. However, we will help facilitate transportation to the nearest hospital in the case of an emergency.

We will have trained and experienced volunteer Rangers on site to proactively address any safety concerns or other escalating conflict between vigilers. They will be patrolling the site during core hours and available by anyone with a radio.


During the day the best best is Washington Monument Lodge right around the corner from Catharsis; there are also public restrooms behind Sylvan Theater and at the World War II Memorial.

Porta potties will be available at night on north side of the Catharsis grounds, near Constitution Ave.

Leave No Trace

    Plan to pack out any waste and recycling you generate during Catharsis. On-site trash and recycling will be limited, and we don't want to overflow any public bins in the nearby area.
    Cigarettes butts cause most fires and trash. Always put your butts out and NEVER throw them on the ground. Carry a small can or film tube in your pocket to hold your used butts.
    MOOP (Matter Out of Place) from clothes like sequins, glitter or feathers are nearly impossible to clean up. We plan to return the National Mall to the condition we found it, or better at the end of the event. Please avoid bringing costumes that incorporate elements that can easily fall off.
    Let's take collective ownership of our space and demonstrate the values of our community by keeping the National Mall beautiful and clean during the event. If you don't clean it up, another volunteer will at the end of the weekend when everyone is exhausted. Please do your part.


Bring your recyclables, Guayakí cans and compost to Makers Camp (#9) for a gift! We will be making Collaborative Art with recycled materials, come up-cycle at the Makers Camp!

Also Learn more about how to vote on your favorite art installations with Gratitude tokens (@mettamakers) on Instagram.

Makers Camp Schedule -Will be updated on whiteboard live at the Makers camp #9

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