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A Cool Mona Masterpiece: In Prison, Music Can Set You Free

Each year, the New York City-based Decoda Chamber Ensemble spends a week with inmates at the maximum security Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina. They teach inmates to play instruments and compose their own music. At the end of the week, they perform for other inmates, prison staff and local officials. This year’s program (2.16.16) was called “Seasons of …

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A Cool Mona Masterpiece: Lipstick Gypsy

I’ve been following this emerging funk/soul band, Lipstick Gypsy, and then they appeared yesterday on The Today Show singing The Cure. There are better videos but I wanted to share the singer’s movements. I also have to apologize for the ad that you’ll have to endure. Gypsyt50106

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A Cool Mona Masterpiece: Hip-Hop Takes On Climate Change

Hip-hop is taking on some new lyrics about climate change and artists are driving the beat for environmental justice. Go Hip-Hop. New York City is gearing up for Climate Week and the UN Sustainable Development Summit at the end of September. So musicians, actors and activists – like Malik Yusef, 5-time GRAMMY-winning Poet and Producer, Dr. Michael Dorsey, …

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A Cool Mona Book Review: Station Eleven

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, published 2014. An extraordinary piece of fiction about the end of civilization, beginning on the eve of post – apocalyptic life and carrying through for the next 20 years. The storyline centers on Arthur Leander, a well-known actor, who dies of a heart attack in the middle of …

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A Cool Mona Masterpiece: The Operatic Soprano Who Sings From A Bridge

For those of who know it, the Queensboro Bridge is something to be traveled as quickly as possible. For Sue Hassel, it’s a place to linger. In fact, it’s an ideal voice studio for this operatic soprano from Queens. Hassel, 69, bikes to her job as a legal secretary in midtown Manhattan, NYC each day. But when she gets to the …