Bonni Curran
Bonni Curran


Each year, the Festival opens with a lecture by an internationally acclaimed advocate for women and girls.  In 2014, it was named in honor of Bonni Curran, who was tragically killed in an accident in 2013.  Bonni was a physician, loving mother and wife, and not only a prominent local philanthropist, but deeply committed to working on behalf of women and children around the world.  She had been a supporter of the Festival from its inception. In honoring her memory each year, we are reminded of the impact she had on our community and how much we miss her presence.

The inaugural memorial lecture in 2014 was given by Meagan Fallone Carnahan, head of Global Strategy for Barefoot College in India.

Tuesday, February 28, at 6:30 p.m.

The nexStage Theatre, Ketchum

Currently, there are nearly 60 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, persecution or natural disasters. A majority are women and children. The Women’s Refugee Commission’s (WRC) mission helps to improve humanitarian practices focusing on the needs of women children and assists in developing policies that can protect and empower them. The WRC is dedicated to guaranteeing their right to sexual and reproductive health care, freedom from gender-based violence and the opportunity to become self-reliant.

Sarah Costa has spent over 25 years in the fields of women’s rights, reproductive health care, gender and youth development and global philanthropy. Throughout her career she has worked with those closest to the issues, from government leaders to village women’s organizations.

Before joining the Women’s Refugee Commission, Costa was regional director of the Global Fund for Women. In addition, she worked as a program officer for the Ford Foundation in Brazil and New York, developing and managing international and national programs on gender, sexuality and reproductive health, women’s rights, HIV/AIDS and health policy. Costa was also a professor of Women’s Health at the National School of Public Health in Brazil and a member of the Advisory Committee to the National Council. Costa earned a Master’s Degree in Medical Demography from London University and a Ph.D in social Medicine from Oxford University.