The Arts Council of Greater Lansing announced today the launch of Young Creatives Mentorship, a unique one-on-one opportunity for Greater Lansing youth to work with professional artists in individual sessions that will offer guidance, resources and first-hand experience to aspiring artists. The pilot program will pair vetted Arts Council-affiliated, working artists with interested aspiring art students through an application process and will provide an eight-week mentoring course.
The Council is seeking four artist members and students with interest and experience in the areas of visual arts for the inaugural year with hopes of expanding to also include dance, music and theatre.
“We are really excited about this new Young Creatives offering to our area youth and working artists,” said Taylor Haslett, Arts Council membership and program manager. “It will allow students to explore artmaking asa career and allow the teaching artists to use their skills to support young artists. The mentors will provide tools and guidance while also serving ascreative collaborators and sounding boards,” Haslett said.
Haslett noted that one of the best things about this program isthe relationship-building component. “We know that it is important to communityhealth for multiple generations to work together and learn from each other.This mentorship offers a landscape for co-creation that values the voices andexperiences of everyone–one where participants can be both student and mentor,which makes for richer learning, compassion and deeper understanding,” Haslettadded.
The mentorship follows in the footsteps of its sister offering,the Young Creatives Artists-in-Residence Program, which placed teaching artists in area schools on a semester-by-semester basis. It was a highly successful program, reaching more than 3,000 students in its lifetime, and its impact will live on. “We believe the Young Creatives Mentorship will be equally successful in supporting our area young creatives and our teaching artists,” Haslett said.“This personalized approach to working together will allow for even more growth, exploration and collaboration in ways that the classroom experience can’t provide.”
The application process for teaching artists is underway, and invitations to students will be made through local schools and to Young Creatives Billboard recipients.
“Advocating for arts education is an important part of the work wedo at the Arts Council,” said Arts Council executive director, Meghan Martin.“Creating opportunities that support young artists and demonstrate the endlesspossibilities that instruction in creative thinking can provide, leads tobetter learning experiences overall. When creativity is valued, everythingflourishes—communities, cities, education, the job market–it’s all connected,”Martin said. “Sharing that value with young people early on will create afuture generation that sees the importance of arts and culture in everythingand its ability to create great change in every industry,” Martin added.
Young Artist Mentorship was made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council and through Michigan State Federal Credit Union. It is a component of the Arts Councils Young Creatives Program, which includes grants, advocacy efforts, youth billboards and the Young Creatives Guide. For more information on this opportunity and other Arts Council programs, contact Taylor Haslett at firstname.lastname@example.org.