ARTSEED APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM – The ArtSeed Apprenticeship Program connects practicing Bay Area artists with young, at-risk or inexperienced artists in long-term mutually beneficial partnerships. Artists benefit from the fresh approach that a novice is likely to inspire while the apprentice gains a broad base of knowledge, practical experience and a mentor who is also a possible reference and guide through future opportunities. Apprentices meet once a week or twice a month with their mentor to learn project-building skills (from conception to planning, implementation, documentation, public relations and exhibition) while being exposed to the professional discipline and artistic practice of a serious artist. This broadens the student’s knowledge of artistic processes, relationship-building, and business skills necessary to being successful in the working world.
ELEMENTS OF THE PROGRAM – Pairing: ArtSeed matches artists with youth in small groups, one-on-one or two-on-two pairings (a team of one or two mentors and one or two apprentices). Phone interviews, orientations and face-to-face meetings between youth and artists will be conducted prior to formalizing a match. A trial period of two months determines the suitability of the match for a yearlong commitment. Clinical psychologists are available for consultation. Interested Bay Area artists provide ArtSeed with references and complete a profile/application form. The profiles describe the artist’s medium, professional experience (teaching and exhibitions) and availability to work with youngsters.
SUPPORT – Volunteer interns, who are artists training to become mentors, can provide logistical support, documentation or administrative help to the mentors or to ArtSeed staff.
OPERATIONS AND TRAINING – Mentors are provided with basic program guidelines and orientations. A support person (ArtSeed advisor or volunteer caseworker) will monitor mentorships and respond to questions that may arise throughout the partnership. Artists will be required to provide ArtSeed with current TB tests. ArtSeed will assist in this process and the fingerprinting, live scan background check.
TIME COMMITMENTS AND ATTENDANCE – Partnerships last one year and participants meet at least four hours monthly. Weekly phone calls to confirm appointments and to check-in with apprentices’ progress are recommended. Field trips to museums or galleries and other intermittent outings (for instance, to shop for supplies or install a show) are an optional but encouraged part of the experience. Students can request transportation assistance from mentors or other ArtSeed volunteers if needed to complete the project.
EVALUATION – Both the mentor and the apprentice provide a quarterly report about their projects and describe key activities, such as field trips. Assessment can be audio-visual, written and/or debriefings between the participants andArtSeed staff. ArtSeed has timesheets and evaluation forms available. We encourage artists and students to document each session with photos and written descriptions.
PROGRAM REWARDS – Apprenticeships happen on a volunteer basis. Participants are given special priority for inclusion in all ArtSeed events and opportunities throughout the year and are acknowledged as key exhibitors at Open Studios and ArtSeed’s end-of-year exhibition. Honoraria and special awards will be based on documentation of work and written analysis of the apprenticeship. ArtSeed actively pursues funding for behind-the-scenes administrative support and can provide interested mentors and students with opportunities to learn to research and write project grant proposals.
FOLLOW-UP – At completion of the Apprenticeship student participants and mentoring artists will continue to be an important part of ArtSeed’s outreach and educational programs as they grow into leadership roles at the ArtSeed Art-a-thon, Summer Fine Arts Intensive. They will receive information about scholarships and employment opportunities, competitions and other forms of community involvement such as public art exhibitions, performances, workshops, and celebratory events. We hope that both artists and mentors will continue to play an integral role in ArtSeed’s activities.