'A Peace of My Mind' to be presented Sunday

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Award-winning photographer and author John Noltner will present "A Peace of My Mind" at 1:15 Sunday in the Sanctuary at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent, 228 Gougler Ave.

Noltner has spent the past three years exploring the meaning of peace. Amid culture wars and political battles, he has asked "What does peace mean to you?" to more than 50 ordinary people. Their answers have opened up a unique dialogue that illuminates the common good that connects people.

Founded in 2009, "A Peace of My Mind" is a multimedia art project that fosters public dialogue about issues related to conflict resolution, civic responsibility and peace. With black and white portraits and oral histories, participants describe what peace means to them, how they work toward it in their lives, and some of the obstacles they encounter.

"A Peace of My Mind" shares the stories of Holocaust survivors and a homeless man, a Somali refugee and a military chaplain, a pottery instructor and an oil company executive. Artists, volunteers, politicians and business leaders all share their insights and inspiring stories in a series that celebrates people's common experience and sense of community.

With images, music, readings and public dialogues, "A Peace of My Mind" empowers communities to collectively examine the ways people categorize one another and how they can bridge their differences by sharing stories. Using this model, the presentation was shown at the 2011 Peace and Justice Studies Association National Conference and at the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

In 2011, a book was produced from the series with a foreword written by Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter, Ela Gandhi. The book earned first prize in the Midwest Book Awards and second prize in the Independent Publishers' Book Awards.

"A Peace of My Mind" is an ongoing project. Noltner continues to gather new interviews from across the country for his second series, "A Peace of My Mind: American Stories."

For more information, visit www.apeaceofmymind.net or call the church office at 330-673-4247.

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