The highly individualized Artist Mentor Program (AMP) pairs one youth with an adult artist working in a medium chosen by the youth. Past AMPs have explored Dance, Poetry, Painting, Drawing and Pottery. The mentor and mentee design their own schedule and meet at least 10 times, for which the mentor is compensated a $300 honorarium, to help with materials, gas, tickets, etc.
The meetings are usually 2 hours in length, sometimes more, and mentors often extend the number of meetings. Where these meetings take place is also dependent upon the art form, ranging from out of doors to the artist’s studio to the mentee’s home. One mentor took her painting mentee to NYC for gallery visits and to paint in her loft studio! These relationships differ from ‘lessons’ in that more than technique is imparted. The mentor uses the art form as a springboard into friendship and a fostering of creative passion in the young person’s life. Discipline, education and career possibilities, history and current trends in the medium may be brought into the conversation.
Performances, poetry readings and gallery visits are encouraged, as appropriate to the art form. AMP participants are chosen for their motivation and expressed interest in an art form, and range from ‘at risk’ youth to high achievers, with a full spectrum in between.
For evaluation of the mentorship, both mentor and mentee are asked to write a statement of their experience: what they learned, what worked and what did not, how this might impact their future art explorations and any other assessment of AMP.