NorVA in Flin Flon has initiated an innovative program to develop mentorship capacity in Northern Manitoba and engage youth (18-30) in the visual arts. With support from MAWA, Creative Manitoba and Manitoba Arts Network, this past summer mentor Mike Spencer, an artist who uses paint, photography, sculpture and conceptual interventions, worked with mentees Isa Plamondon, Olivia Fernandez and Neal Smedegaard. This fall mentor Brandy Bloxom, an Indigenous photographer, will work with three mentees. All NorVA artists who are interested in mentoring in the future will take part in a MAWA-led workshop in September, to help NorVA grow northern arts leadership.
STEPS Public Art is likewise in the midst of programming an exciting mentorship, the CreateSpace BIPOC Public Art Residency. In this 10-month national initiative, also supported by MAWA funding and mentorship training, artists Hiba Abdallah, Golboo Amani, Dawn Saunders Dahl, Zongwe Binesikwe Crystal Hardy, Javid Jah, Andre Kan, Yen Linh Thai, Winnie Truong, Quentin VerCetty and Alize Zorlutuna are mentoring Yasmeen Nematt Alla, Bruno Canadien, Laara Cerman, Shelby Gagnon, Jieun June Kim, Arjun Lal, Amanda Lederle, Charmaine Lurch, Anna Jane McIntyre and Nuff.
MAWA knows we can’t do everything, nor should we. These are two examples of how MAWA has helped other communities by giving them what they need to grow their own visual arts mentorship programs. By providing financial support and mentorship resources to other organizations, MAWA is spreading intergenerational, peer-based knowledge and information-sharing far beyond Winnipeg’s borders.