We are pleased to welcome our new General Manager, Laina Barakat!
Laina Barakat comes to Monadnock Music with many years of management and artistic experience in the region. An award winning independent filmmaker, Laina first moved to the area to work with Either/Or Films on their premier feature, The Sensation of Sight (David Strathairn, Ian Sommerhalder, Jane Adams, Ann Cusack) that was filmed in Peterborough.
Since then, she founded and ran a non-profit artist collective in Keene, NH, The Starving Artist, where she booked nationally touring bands for four years. Further integrating herself into the community, she co-founded and was Executive Director for the Monadnock International Film Festival during its first three years.
Her film, Only Daughter, premiered at Cinequest Film Festival and received several awards across the country including Audience Choice Award at New York No Limits, and NH Film of the Year at New Hampshire Film Festival. In the fall of 2015, Laina Line-Produced a documentary film in Grand Rapids Michigan called More Art Upstairs, which will be released next year. As a pianist and vocalist, Laina’s musical background includes selection as songwriter-in-residence at the Glen Workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a Songwriting Captain for Soul Kitchen, workshopping her songs with the band Over The Rhine, and having several of her compositions covered by internationally touring bands. Her second album, The Wayward Ark, was produced by Vinx (percussionist for Sting and Stevie Wonder, songwriter for Sheryl Crowe, Seal, and the Broadway Musical, The Lion King). She self-released an album in 2015 called Iron Lungs. She continues co-writing with several artists across the country.
“My hope is to build on Monadnock Music’s incredibly long-standing success, and increase our local outreach and awareness. It is an honor to join a non-profit that has proven itself a resource to the region for such a long time. The caliber of artists our festival brings to the area is humbling and inspiring,” says Laina.
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