New program seeks art mentors, youth candidates

Imagine where you would be if you hadn’t had that one person, sometime during your teens, who helped you start […]

Imagine where you would be if you hadn’t had that one person, sometime during your teens, who helped you start down a path that got you to where you are today. VSA arts of Minnesota is announcing a new program. The Arts Mentoring Project (AMP) will pair Minnesota students with disabilities and people working in the arts field. Transition-aged youth with disabilities will be able to meet and make connections with adult mentors, thanks to funding from Pathways to Employment, a division of the Minnesota Department on Employment and Economic Development (DEED). During September, 2009, VSA arts of Minne-sota will seek arts-interested young people in Rochester, the Twin Cities, central Minnesota and the Arrowhead Region.Then, using a list of people currently employed in the arts, a list of mentor/mentee pairs will be created to work together over the next six months to explore aspects of that particular career. AMP will go beyond the high-visibility arts careers that first come to mind-rock musician, actor, gallery artist, dancer- and include careers such as graphic design layout artist, music critic, arts administrator, advertising copywriter, lighting designer, art handler and more.

Some mentor/mentee pairs will join VSA arts of Minnesota staff at this year’s Disability Mentoring Day being held at the Duluth Convention Center Oct. 13. This event will bring together local employers and transition-aged youth from around the state so that the students can get to know more about the world of work and learn about the various employment opportunities available to them. If you or someone you know might be interested in participating in the Arts Mentoring Project, either as a mentor or mentee, contact Craig or Jenea at the VSA arts of Minnesota office, 612-332-3888 or 1-800-801-3883 or via email at info@vsaartsmn.org