M³ (Mutual Mentorship for Musicians) is a platform created to empower, elevate, normalize and give visibility to women, non-binary composer-performers and those of other historically underrepresented gender identities in intersection with race, sexuality, or ability across generations in the US and worldwide, through a radical model of mentorship and musical collaborative commissions.
Co-founded in 2020 by vocalist-composers Jen Shyu and Sara Serpa, M³ recognizes that the music, with its multiple languages and traditions, has been mostly shaped by male power, resulting in unbalanced environments and presenting multiple challenges for composer-performers from underrepresented groups to have access to meaningful and respectful mentorship. Since then, M³ has already served a global community of hundreds of composer-performers, pioneering a growing new model of support and creativity.
M³ operates under the conviction that when women and non-binary composer-performers are supported, they feel valued, expand collaborations, and are made visible. A fundamental component of M³’s identity emphasizes process over product; this manifests in every aspect of our mission, starting with the prioritization of women and non-binary composers who write, perform, and improvise their own music, from inception to completion.
By supporting artistic excellence through each cohort, M³ creates expandable music communities, while developing sustained lucrative career opportunities for women and non-binary composer-performers in the industry, in particular for women and non-binary composer-performers of color.
By building a non-hierarchical and intergenerational paradigm of mentorship, M³ celebrates a global network of artists, providing a think tank for new ways to connect, collaborate, perform, support and create.
With the aim of building new paradigms of mentorship, M³ encourages:
a) reciprocal intergenerational exchange of knowledge and experience,
b) formation of new collaborations with musicians outside of one’s inner circle,
c) cultivation of new ideas and new formats for solo and collaborative performance, both live and/or virtual.