Women in Jazz Organization is launching a fundraising campaign to support WIJO Mentors, its collegiate mentorship program. The fundraiser will run from International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021 through International Jazz Day, April 30, 2021, honoring both Women’s History Month (March) and Jazz Appreciation Month (April).
Proceeds from this campaign will go solely towards running the WIJO Mentors program:
- Bolstering yearly honorariums for mentors
- Funding guest artists for zoom clinics
- Covering general administrative costs to maintain the program year-round
- Launching a brand-new scholarship fund for applicants in future seasons
About WIJO Mentors:
WIJO Mentors is designed to connect and enrich the community of women and non-binary people in Jazz, providing strong role models to college students in a safe and supportive environment, and offering a way for established musicians and composers to help shape the future of their community. Now in its third year of operation, WIJO Mentors is supporting 20 mentees aged 18-30 who are pursuing their jazz studies in vocal performance, instrumental performance, or composition. These students were selected from a large pool of competitive applicants. WIJO paired them individually with 20 of the most influential women and nonbinary jazz artists on the scene, who serve as their mentors for the season. The mentees receive 2 private lessons and 2 additional meetings covering musical, career and interpersonal skills, as well as building relationships with their mentors. Mentees also connect with each other through online events to form a community, and work with guest clinicians covering music business, mental and physical wellness, and masterclasses.
The Mentor Roster this year includes: Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), Sharel Cassity (saxophone), Carla Cook (voice), Vanisha Gould (voice), Marion Hayden (bass), Ayn Inserto (composition), Christine Jensen (composition), Mimi Jones (bass), Grace Kelly (saxophone), Allison Miller (composition), Gabrielle Murphy (saxophone), Nadje Noordhuis (trumpet), Tomeka Reid (composition), Chloe Rowlands (trumpet), Janis Siegel (voice), Helen Sung (piano), Camille Thurman (saxophone), Shirazette Tinnin (drums), Lessie Vonner (trumpet) and Jennifer Wharton (trombone)!
Why WIJO Mentors is important:
It is essential to invest in younger generations of women and nonbinary musicians, who are highly underrepresented in the field of jazz, especially at the collegiate level. Finding women and nonbinary role models can be challenging. WIJO provides resources to mentees to help educate, empower, and embolden them, so they can become the artists they aspire to be. In the process, they aim to transform the jazz scene as a whole, not only for women and nonbinary musicians, but for the entire Jazz community, which will largely benefit from a more diverse and representative pool of well-equipped artists, educators, and listeners.
Why WIJO needs funding:
WIJO is currently offering this program free of cost to all selected mentees. Mentors have volunteered to participate for a very modest honorarium. The program is run by a team of volunteers who are full-time musicians and students. Additionally, WIJO plans to offer more financial support for future applicants through scholarships and financial aid. They hope to see this program grow, but while WIJO is awaiting official nonprofit 501 (C) 3 status, they are unable to apply for grants to fund this program. They are not able to run this program without donations from folks like you. Please consider donating now to support the WIJO Mentors Program!