I went to Lunafest (short films by, for and about women) last night at the the Loft Cinema in an audience of about 300. Lunafest’s stated mission is to “celebrate and inspire women through the art of film and community fundraising”. All proceeds from this fundraiser benefited Women’s Studies Advisory Council (WOSAC) and The Breast Cancer Fund, both UA programs.
It reminded me of the February 20, 2005 Breast Cancer Stories at Odyssey Storytelling. That year it was a much smaller crowd. I was working in collaboration with a now defunct grassroots women’s organization; there was little publicity for the films and the theme of the storytelling evening seem to scare people away.
The audience was sparse but the 30 or so people who where there were treated to inspiring, sad, humorous, horrifying and uplifting stories. The brave and amazing tellers that night were Amy Weintraub, Mickey Monroe, Tom Anway, Mary Wilson, Meera and Lisa Levine. Donations were made to Susan G. Koman & Wingspan Breast Health Project and the art that graced the program, I See Them Everywhere, was generously donated by Susanne Gillatt.
Is the difference in audience size the fact that a large and established group did a great job of organized the show or is it because talking about and raising money for breast cancer has become so much more accepted in these 5 years? Pink bracelets and ribbons may be annoying but they do “tell a story” if we like it or not.
I believe that the courageous people who have stepped forth to share their personal experiences with breast cancer, at a time when the words could just be whispered, have been instrumental in breaking down barriers and challenging taboos. I am convinced that the heightened level of awareness and the “human face” on the disease has been a contributing factor to increased funding and research on breast cancer.
How has stepping out and telling your story changed the world?