Lunafest for Peace

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN

Lunafest is almost here. See six internationally acclaimed fun, inspiring, thought-provoking short films by, for and about women at the Riverview Theater on Wednesday, April 27,  7 p.m. (Men love the films, too!!) Proceeds benefit local Minnesota peacebuilding and the Breast Cancer Fund.  Basic tickets are $25, or $40 with VIP Birchwood afterparty until 11 p.m. Go to www.lunafest.org/minneapolis0427.
The story behind the story behind the story of this event is kind of like those Russian nesting dolls of decreasing size that fit one inside the other—matryoshkas. Lunafest is a project of the nationally known company Luna Bars, which makes whole nutrition bars for women. Every year, Luna Bars creates a film festival and gives it to worthy nonprofits to put on as a fundraiser for their organizations. For the second year in a row, the Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute (MPLI) was chosen. MPLI will receive 85% of net profits from ticket sales, which will go to MPLI’s scholarship fund. (The other 15% goes to Luna Bar’s main beneficiary, the Breast Cancer Fund.)
Why does MPLI give scholarships? Because MPLI was founded to be the administrator for STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) trainings in Minnesota, a program that “integrates restorative justice, nonviolent peacemaking and conflict transformation,” according to Dr. Donna Minter, who established the program in Minnesota.  A neuropsychologist, Dr. Minter says, “From a professional perspective, I don’t know of any trauma training that’s tying these concepts together in this way.” STAR was originally developed at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in Virginia following the tragedy of 9/11 and now, with its many graduates, has become a force that lays the groundwork for peace within society because it teaches alternatives to revenge. Two good reasons to see Lunafest: enjoy films and support peacemaking.
The Riverview, a grand theater of yesteryear, is located at the corner of 42nd Ave. S. and E. 38th St.

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