A new mentoring program will encourage and develop the aspirations of emerging artists and help create a sustainable arts industry in Ballarat.
The Ballarat Arts Foundation is seeking applications for its Mentoring the Creative Community program, which is running for the first time since a successful pilot in 2019.
Ballarat Arts Foundation chairperson Paula Nicholson said the program did not run in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, but it was considered a priority this year to support artists as restrictions lifted.
"This program aims to strengthen the community as it recovers and rebuilds," she said.
A mentor can help guide you on you path to success, sort of like your own, private cheer-squad.Pauline O'Shannessy-Dowling
Five mentoring partnerships were made during the 2019 pilot program across performing and visual arts.
This year's program will connect 10 artists with mentors who can support professional development and provide guidance on a specific project or skill.
Ms Nicholson mentored Ballarat performer Amie Sexton, who goes by the stage name Amie Brulée, in the 2019 pilot program.
Ms Sexton said she learnt a lot from the experience and worked with Ms Nicholson to put on an event at the Ballarat Mechanic Institute titled The Women of Versailles.
"It was great working together with Paula to make it happen and really fabulous to get feedback after the show via Paula," she said.
"She spoke to several people who I don't know and wouldn't normally receive feedback from about the show, which meant I got honest and constructive feedback and ideas, rather than just the positive post-show comments that I hear.
"That feedback was reassuring, thought provoking and most importantly, were ideas on how to think bigger about where the show can go and how."
Watch an introduction to Amie Sexton below.
Ballarat Arts Foundation past mentor Pauline O'Shannessy-Dowling said mentoring was a 'tried and tested' way of helping people clarify and achieve their goals and develop professional pathways.
"A mentor can help guide you on you path to success, sort of like your own, private cheer-squad," she said.
"Being a mentor is a wonderful way to transfer your valuable skills and build community capacity.
"The mentoring model is absolutely one of my favourite ways of working in my community - I just love it."
Ms Nicholson said the program would create long-term support for the arts community and a connection to the wider community.
The Ballarat Arts Foundation received a City of Ballarat Community Impacts Grant to deliver the 2021 mentoring program.
Applications close on Friday evening. Visit ballaratartsfoundation.org.au/mentoring.
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