center for music and #collaborative arts

music is not a privilege. it's a necessity.

Honorary Guest Mona El-Naggar


With the intention of women empowering other women through art, this innovative concert series is a celebration of their local and global accomplishments.
Lynn Bechtold, Milica Paranosicand Keve Wilson—the founders of Ladies First—are three women at the cutting edge of NYC’s contemporary music scene, and they are forging
a n ew path in this creative concept of concert production.

photos by robert morton

Ladies First/Sisters and Wives

  - Out Of The Shadows, Into The Spotlight - 

The fifth annual Ladies First production

May 11 7 pm at Opera America 330 7th Avenue

Artistic Portraits of:
Pauline Viardot, Anna Maria Mozart, Fanny Mendelssohn, Alma Mahler, Clara Schumann and others, and drawing parallels with women of today, whose voices are not heard without a permission of their male contemporaries.
As with our previous events, this multi-faceted event, celebrated women and their achievements across disciplines in a festive event, containing a reception, award ceremony, concert and an after-party.

Mona El-Naggar is a reporter and senior video producer at The New York Times. She evolved into a filmmaker after more than a decade covering the Middle East. She documented the breakdown of the social contract between the leadership and people that led to the great unraveling – the Arab Spring. She quickly realized that Identity was the core driver of complex, chaotic events. So she began to focus on youth, women and religious extremism.
Mona spent a year reporting a project called Generation Faithful, a series of stories, videos and blog posts that went deep into the lives of young people in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
She worked in nearly every country in the Middle East. She was 
chased by stonet-hrowing children at the funeral for the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. She was confronted by the secret police in Libya. She reported from Gaza and spent time with Houthi rebels in Yemen. She was harassed, pilloried in the press and had her loyalty questioned for practicing journalism in her home country, Egypt.
Since turning to filmmaking she has won acclaim for her work. She was a Pulitzer finalist for her film on a young Egyptian man who transformed from a bodybuilder into an ISIS killer. She was part of a team that produced an Emmy-nominated piece on a victim who escaped an ISIS massacre. She directed Ladies First, a documentary that offers a penetrating look at the life of women in Saudi Arabia as they vote and run in an election for the first time. Her latest work, The Story of Esraa, explores years of social and political turmoil in Egypt through the intimate story of one woman’s quest for independence.

Mona studied political economy at Georgetown University and received a masters in news and documentary from New York University. 

Ladies First/Sisters and Wives 
  - Out Of The Shadows, Into The Spotlight - 

New York Women Composers

LADIES FIRST 2016  - We're All Immigrants -  GALLERY

Gallery MC

photo by Linda Mason makeup by Linda Mason and Aya Tariq hair  by Almog Burbea styling by Linda Mason and the team 

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