Mona Golabek Brings ‘Willesden Lane’ to New York City/Tri-state Audiences

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 10:18am

USC Shoah Foundation partner and celebrated pianist Mona Golabek is scheduled to bring her livestreamed theatrical performance and concert to students and educators in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut at two signature events later this month.

On May 18, the New York Public Library will release a new 15-minute Storytime in which Mona will perform and read from her newly illustrated book for young children - Hold On To Your Music: The Inspiring True Story of the Children of Willesden Lane.  Beautifully illustrated by renowned Italian artist Sonia Possentini, the Hold On to Your Music picture book retells the The Children of Willesden Lane, the true story of how a teenage refugee, Mona’s mother, Lisa Jura, held onto her dreams, survived the Holocaust and inspired a generation of her contemporaries. Participants can register here.

On May 25, Mona will be live at the Steinway Factory in New York City for the region’s first virtual Willesden READS event available to students and educators in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The Willesden READS event, being streamed remotely in response to the COVID-19 global health crisis, includes professional development for teachers to teach the books with students prior to the livestream performance. All educators and students from across the tri-state area are welcome to join the performance and can register here.

“Bringing ‘Willesden Lane’ to New York is particularly moving for me,” Golabek said. “The city represents the melting pot and soul of America and working with the esteemed educators of the New York City Department of Education and the New York Public Library has been the greatest honor.”

Lesly Culp, Head of Programs at USC Shoah Foundation, said the tri-state events reflect Golabek’s unique and pathbreaking approach to humanizing history and making important lessons relevant to students.

“Difficult histories need to be remembered, taught and learned from if we are to shift the narrative of injustice,” Culp said. “Mona’s retelling of her mother’s experience through her captivating storytelling and musical talents draws together history, personal story, and music to reach students cognitively and affectively. The performance will resonate with students long after the event and inspire them to be stronger than hate.”