Our dream is that Lotus Collective’s business model and operations become a standard of practice in the music industry and beyond. We clamor for equal representation and for the appropriate valuing, showcasing, and rewarding of the creative force of female/femme/non-binary folk.
To provide transformative opportunities for female/femme/non-binary musicians to connect to and grow through their creative potential.
By building trust through transformative creative experiences, we take the first leap of faith in amateur and professional musicians in the domains in which they wish to grow. We provide a space of belief in the potential and cultivate confidence through the power of our co-created community. We share knowledge, resources, and opportunities. We help our members create quality artistic content without judging them in the messy, uncomfortable, off-key, failure-ridden process.
By building our network, we are creating what we need to help ourselves reach our goal: increase representation to prove that we are a creative force to be reckoned with. Our existence in and of itself is political.
Furthermore, our social mandate speaks to transformative justice models. We allow people to share their narratives, their hardest truths, their deepest wounds, thus allowing for collective healing to come into play by cultivating resilience and accountability. Our creative space is a healing space.
Lotus Collective is organizationally maintained by its two co-founders who are women of colour; Marcelle Partouche Gutierrez and Monica Paraghamian. LOTUS is a democratic, horizontally-structured group, embedded in a Feminist-Business ideology.
The LOTUS team is continually being assembled. In keeping with our mandate and organizational model, we strive to have all roles filled by female-identifying or non-binary individuals.
Co-founder of LOTUS Collective, Monica Paraghamian is an educator, entrepreneur and singer-songwriter. She is a PhD student in the Department of Integrated Studies (DISE) at McGill, where she received her Master of Arts in “Educational Leadership” in 2016. Monica sings in two Gospel choirs (Imani Gospel Singers (alto) and Montreal Gospel Choir (soprano)). She draws influence from Soul and R&B traditions to bring a sultry and no-frills authenticity to her expression.
Marcelle Partouche Gutierrez
Marcelle Partouche Gutierrez is a queer woman of colour, researcher, community worker and engaged artist. Based in Montreal with roots in North-Africa and Mexico, she is the proud daughter of brave migrants. She is currently doing research on the benefits of music on youth well-being at McGill, and is now a co-researcher at l’ENAP (National Public Administrative School) on participation. She has spent the past five years informing policy in regards to the child welfare system. She holds the role of administrator and organizer of the Rap Battles for Social Justice, and co-founder of Lotus Collective. She wishes to create stronger networks across the academic, artistic and community sector to nourish and support community development, and voice unheard stories of resilience and courage. She believes art is one of the most powerful carriers of change and courage.