Lunafest to have new addition this year |

Lunafest to have new addition this year

If You Go...

What: Lunafest featuring the Broad Band

When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 7

Where: Library Hall, Bud Werner Memorial Library

— An ongoing theme of an event known as Lunafest is that it was created “by women, for women.”

Tonight’s event marks the sixth year the festival has been shown in Steamboat Springs, but this time, it will have a new addition that echoes the same theme.

The local, all-woman group, the Broad Band, brought seven women together who share in a passion for music with the hope to make a difference in the community.

“This band brings a lot of what we are about as individuals together in a group; it’s empowering to be part of the band,” said banjo player Susie Leeson, one of the founding members of the group. “Lunafest is for women and about women, and that’s sort of what the band is all about, too. It’s a neat way to give back to the community.”

Kicking off Thursday’s festivities, the Broad Band will take the stage at 5:30 p.m., followed by the film screenings at 6:30 p.m. in Library Hall.

Known for their harmonies and the variety of instruments they play — from the mandolin to the fiddle — the group has been together for about five years now. Originating from a love for music, Leeson said the idea to start an all-woman band came from a bike trip to Fruita with a few friends.

Performing at various events and fundraisers, Gail Holthausen, one of the guitar players, said this event is another way to generate support for the community.

“When someone is sick or needs help, we as a community will reach out,” Holthausen said. “Many of the women in the band support various fundraisers, and anything that is for a good cause we are up for.”

Established in 2000 by Luna, the makers of the nutrition bar for women, the film festival was started as a way to spotlight the diverse array of talented female filmmakers with comical yet thought-provoking themes, topics and formats. The eight films in this year’s festival explore philosophies of growing up, challenging social norms and working in a male dominated industry.

The traveling short film festival visits more than 150 cities, raising money for the Breast Cancer Fund.

“They have a really nice variety of content that comes from across the world that allows you to get a glimpse of other cultures and issues that we wouldn’t really be exposed to on a regular basis,” said Debbie Curd, Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project founder who helped create the Bust of Steamboat event.

The Bust of Steamboat is an annual fundraiser held in October that benefits women fighting breast cancer in the Yampa Valley. The $10 donations collected from Lunafest attendees will be divided between the Breast Cancer Fund (15 percent) and the YVCAP/Bust of Steamboat (85 percent). Patrons will have the opportunity to enjoy Luna bars, popcorn and refreshments during the films.

“The films are always produced really well and appeal to men and women,” Curd said. “I would say that everyone who comes to the event enjoys it tremendously. It’s a great way to support a local organization and enjoy a wonderful night of art and entertainment.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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