Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What I've Been Meaning to Write: SAQA's New Mentorship Program

Thanks to Chris Nielsen, whose post on the Atlantic Canada blog is very timely!  Somewhat red-faced, I've been spending less time on my computer during our lovely summer, so have not explored the SAQA Mentorship Program.  Instead, I've let thoughts of it tickle my brain from time to time, and have posted nothing!

However, I recognize (as Chris does) that not all of our SAQA Western Canada members participate in the general SAQA Yahoo Group, a repository for all kinds of information and a source of lively discussions.

SO...with that in mind, I'll take a page from Chris' book, and post this latest message from Sue Bleiweiss, who is coordinating this program (emphases mine):

Now that the mentorship program has been underway for several weeks I thought I would post an update on how it's going and provide some statistics and other information about it. 

So far 12 matches have been made and all the mentees have met with their mentors at least once via Skype, FaceTime or telephone to talk about their objectives and goals and to set up a regular communication schedule with each other. Everyone is very excited about their new partnerships and I couldn't be happier about that. 

You might be wondering who these mentors are so I am going to tell you! I'm sharing their names with their permission of course and they are: 

Pamela Allen 
Sue Bleiweiss 
Lisa Call 
Jenny Bowker 
Sherri Culver 
Kathleen Loomis 
Alison Schwabe 
Pamela Druhen 
Carol Ann Waugh 
Susan Polansky 
Phylis Cullen 

Each of them have signed on to work with at least one mentee and a couple are working with more than one. I am grateful for their willingness to sign on to be a part of this program because the success of the program really hinges on having enough mentors. And that brings me to my next statistic... 

I have 9 mentees on the waiting list waiting to be matched up with a mentor. I need more mentors

So I am once again putting out the call for mentors. Now I know that being a mentor isn't for everyone and I absolutely understand and respect that but I'm guessing that there are some of you out there that are thinking you might be interested but your not sure about it because you are not sure how to be a mentor or what areas or categories you can mentor someone in. To answer those questions, just pop over to the SAQA website here: http://www.saqa.com/memberArt.php?ID=3369   All the information about the program is there and if you take a look at both the mentor and the mentee applications (regardless of which you want to apply for) those will also help answer your questions. If you still have questions or your unsure, then write to me at sue@suebleiweiss.com. I will be happy to talk with you about the program and how you can be a part of it. 

The mentorship program is just one of the programs brought to you by the SAQA membership committee. The committee is chaired by Diane Wright and is made up of volunteers Clara Nartey (Secretary), Sue Bleiweiss, Paula Huffman Brown, Sharon Buck, Christine Hager-Braun, Candice Phelan, Allison Reker, Desi Vaughn, and Martha Wolfe. We meet once a month to discuss, brainstorm and develop programs and initiatives related to areas of membership. Watch for updates about the committees other programs and initiatives in future emails. 

By the way - if you're curious about what other commitees that SAQA has you'll find that information on the SAQA website here:

Sue Bleiweiss 
MA/RI regional co-rep 
Membership committee volunteer 
Mentorship program coordinator 

Note Sue's call for more mentors!  If you would like to participate as a mentor, Sue would love to talk to you!

Chris is starting with a mentor in the next week or so.  If being mentored (a 'mentee') is of interest to you, again, Sue would love to connect with you and answer your questions.  Don't be intimidated by the fact there is a waiting list.  Having a mentor for a particular period of your artistic life might just be what you need to overcome a block, focus your process or your voice...And its another way to build relationships in an organization so large and far-flung.

I for one am curious about the process, and will be following Chris' posts about it as she and her mentor work together.

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