Music and Mentoring House is reopened!! A letter from the founder, Laurel Flanigan

June 16, 2021

Dear Friends and Extended Family of Music and Mentoring House,

It’s hard to imagine that for the past 10 years I have had a house full of wonderful humans, weekends full of all of you, and now, have spent the past 10 months without all that crazy wonderfulness. 

The challenge of coaching amazing young twenty-somethings to remain engaged and creative these many months has been wonderfully challenging and incredibly heartbreaking but they have to figure this out. Designing a life that can remain creative and thrive in times of crises has been the positive focus of our coaching sessions. As of today, I will have completed more than 1,000 hours of online life coaching, at no cost, to former residents of Music and Mentoring House and students of our programs. The privilege of being an integral part of their process, of being relied on day after day has been humbling to say the least. You’ll be so proud of them when we next gather!!

So at this mid date in June 2021, I am reaching out to see if you would please donate to Music and Mentoring House and help me keep these amazing humans creative and performing in front of you and the world? It’s a beautiful thing you’ve helped me do all these years. A beautiful thing I’m deeply committed to and personally invested in for the long term. Mentored affordable housing for artists. 

Artists and musicians of all disciplines deserve a safe creative home in the arts capital of the country, New York City.

Music and Mentoring House. We are that place.

And so it is with some serious enthusiasm (Oh gioia!!! ) that I can tell you……

  • Our first resident student in more than 11 months arrived yesterday from Colombia, South America. She will be in residence for three weeks taking voice lessons from me and preparing for a program she will attend in the first weeks of July in Miami, Florida. Her family reached out to me as her situation in Colombia grew dangerous and her University was forced to close. I am very happy to have her here again studying, thriving and getting vaccinated! And we have many applications for fall residencies. We’re back!!
  • This year, Music and Mentoring House and I were nominated for The David Prize. It was a wonderful surprise that came at a very difficult time for me in the pandemic and I almost didn’t accept the nomination. Accepting the nomination and entering the application process helped me come to a richer and deeper understanding of what it is that I love about coaching, teaching, and living with wonderful young humans. We actually made it through the first several rounds which, I am told, is not easy. I don’t know who recommended us but I am forever grateful they did. Here is an excerpt from the application:

 I believe that the smallest musical gesture honestly placed makes the biggest impact and I get to live it every day in a permanent organization I created called Music and Mentoring House, in Harlem, my community for the past 18 years. Through Master Classes, breakfasts, dinners and community performances I combine education and performing in a way that allows the power of the human voice to tell our personal stories and effect change. What interests me and what ignites my imagination is the invitation “in” . The invitation to the breakfast table or friends and neighbors coming to support students in a creative performance environment. We can’t keep singing without access to performance opportunities on a weekly and monthly basis and we have built a strong weekly audience to support the invitation to come on “in”. Our neighbors and donors show up!

  • We are about to launch our annual summer program The Audition Boot Camp!! Yes we are!!! 

I want to jump in feet first making sure everyone is ready to sing sing sing, come fall. So… at some moment in the not too distant future we will start performances of Aria Madness. I am looking for an outdoor space that keeps us all healthy and Covid free, so wish me luck and stay tuned. 

Of course, none of this is possible without your presence in our lives, ongoing kindness and financial support. I know that you know this but it can’t be expressed enough. It really can’t. You see the impact your presence has on their performances and their enthusiasm. You’ve lived it along with me in the living room, at the kitchen table and family dinners in the garden. It’s a magical relationship you’ve helped me create and kept moving forward. So….

We are still fiscally sponsored by The American Opera Project. Right now, donations can be made by visiting their donor site: and writing Music and Mentoring House on the line that reads: I would like my gift to go to the following AOP project

You can also send a check payable to: The American Opera Project. Just write Music and Mentoring House on the memo line at the bottom of your check. Checks can be mailed to:

The American Opera Project 138 S Oxford St # 3B, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Thank you for reading my long letters and continuing to support us. 

See you in August with some Aria Madness!!!

Sincerely, Lauren–
Lauren Flanigan, Director/Founder

The American Opera Project is now our Fiscal Sponsor. You can donate to Music and Mentoring House by clicking on this link:
 – All donation amounts are greatly appreciated and a very important contribution to our efforts. American Opera Projects is an IRS recognized 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

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