The Beautiful

The Arts Are Alive and Well in Monroe, CT

There's Music on the Internet

Monroe’s WMNR Streaming on Smart Speakers

"Hey Google play WMNR."

"Sure, here's Fine Arts Radio on TuneIn," responds Alexa, a smart speaker, immediately broadcasting Monroe’s local music station. (TuneIn is an audio streaming service used by smart speakers to provide content.)

Radio listening has moved from home consoles, to dashboards, to computers, to smartphones and now to smart speakers. And Monroe’s WMNR is keeping up with the times. Smart speakers are small, voice-activated, internet-enabled speakers like Google Home, or Amazon's Echo or Dot (both of which feature Amazon's digital assistant and voice “Alexa’). Set-ups retail for $30 to $150 and can take on automated tasks of all sorts. Now, one such task is broadcasting  Monroe’s  WMNR throughout your home  or office with just a brief vocal command.

At the station, Mark Morton, engineering and IT, recently installed a Google Home Mini in his workspace. Alexa responds to the command "Hey Google play WMNR" or "Hey Google play Fine Arts Radio" or "Hey Google play WMNR Fine Arts Radio".

There is no static or interference on a smart speaker since you are receiving the station via the internet, not over the airwaves.

John Babina, WMNR co-founder and volunteer technical director, uses Alexa at home and tells listeners that, like the Google speaker, when he says the phrase "Alexa Play Fine Arts Radio" or "Alex Play WMNR" or "Alex Play WMNR Fine Arts Radio" the system instantly live streams the station's broadcast.

Peter Shimkin of Tuesday Afternoon Classics and Voice & Orchestra listens to WMNR via an Amazon Echo and is pleased with the sound quality of the speaker. Broadcaster H. William Stine uses Alexa at home as well and may even enlist her as a co-host for an upcoming Turntable For One program. Here's hoping Alexa shares Bill's good taste in jazz vocals.

Follow the Balloons March 17

Art on the Green Continues

Sculptors Come to Stepney

The Save Our Stepney Task Force, is calling for Public Outdoor Art.Sculptors who would like to exhibit their art in the third annual, “Art On The Green” event, are being encouraged to contact SOS for an entry application.  Above,  Ziggy Bober shows off one of his popular, life-size sculptures on the Stepney Green.  Artists  should submit pictures of the Art they would like to exhibit along with their application to the Save Our Stepney Task Force Review Committee. The Review Committee will advise them of their decision.

For artists not familiar with the Stepney Green the  committee will be happy to send photos of the Green.  The Stepney Green is located in Monroe, CT, on Main Street (Route 25) at the intersection of Easton Road (Route 59) and has approximately 22,000 vehicles passing by daily.

To request an application, contact Lee Hossler, 203-261-5702, or send your request to Save Our Stepney Task Force, P.O.Box #9, Monroe, CT 06468