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Womxn Crush Wednesday: Joy-Leilani Garbutt and Laura Colgate


Originally posted to Facebook on May 27, 2020


Today we feature founders Joy-Leilani Garbutt and Laura Colgate of the nonprofit organization, Boulanger Initiative. This organization is dedicated to supporting music created by women. This includes the music of previous generations, works by living composers, and support for the creation of new music. Read on to learn more, and check them out at www.boulangerinitiative.org!


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A Q&A with Joy:


Q: How does Boulanger Initiative support the creation of music by women?

A: Our three main focus areas are: performance, education, and commissions. Our aim is to work towards greater inclusivity, and to enrich our collective understanding of what music is, has been, and can be.


Q: What inspired you to start Boulanger Initiative? How did it begin?

A: Laura and I were introduced by a mutual friend who knew that we were both researching music composed by women for our doctorates. It was so amazing to meet someone who had so much passion and energy for the same thing, and the more we talked the more we realized we just had to do something. What started off as an idea for a small local concert series turned into a whole organization with nationwide advocacy and consulting, international research, and a continually growing team of amazing performers, arts administrators, educators and supporters dedicated to furthering this work.


Q: When your audiences leave a Boulanger Initiative event, what would you like them to come away with?

A: Our concerts and festivals have been described as “joyful” and we really hope to expose people to musical experiences that are new, uplifting, and door opening. ALL of the music performed at every BI event comes from women and non-binary identifying composers, so most of the time audiences are hearing music that they have never heard before, either because it is newly composed, or because it is rarely performed.


Q: What does growth look like for your organization/mission?

A: As we continue to expand our work and grow our team, we hope to become an international hub for all advocacy, research, and performance relating to music composed by women. There are so many individuals doing great work out there, and we want to help connect people and resources and organizations that are interested in musical equity and inclusion. Our live performances might be delayed for the moment, but our next festival in March 2021 is going to be a huge celebration.


Q: What else would you like people to know?

A: Check out our website, please share, and please listen to more music by women!

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