The Network for Arts Administrators of Color
Mentorship & Sponsorship Pilot Program
As a new and growing network for building the career capacities, connections, and power of arts administrators of color in the Greater Boston region, ArtsBoston’s Network for Arts Administrators of Color (NAAC Boston) is launching a new initiative designed to elevate professionals of color. NAAC Boston’s Sponsorship & Mentorship Pilot Project builds on research showing that mentoring under-represented categories of professionals (like women and people of color)—by itself—does not drive systemic change in the power structures of our institutions and sectors.
What is needed is sponsorship, which focuses on advancement by tapping into resources of power and opening doors that add value to mentoring relationships and disrupt entrenched power dynamics. This project uses both components of this two-step process to increase the talent pipeline and develop future leaders of color in Boston’s arts sector.
How It Works
Pilot Program Participants
Five mid-career mentors and five executive-level sponsors have been matched with five mentees and five sponsees for our inaugural program, running March to December 2019.
Application: Interested Mentees and Sponsees submitted online applications through Friday, February 15. Mentors and sponsors, nominated by the NAAC Steering Committee were confirmed before the interview process begins.
Interviews: The NAAC Steering Committee conducted interviews with applicants from February 18 through February 28.
Onboarding: Final decisions and Mentor/Mentee and Sponsor/Sponsee pairings were announced on Monday, March 4. A kickoff event, initial pair meetings, and participant training will take place in March. Applicants who were not paired with a Mentor or Sponsor were invited to join a learning cohort with all Mentees and Sponsees.
Program Engagement: Mentor/Mentee and Sponsor/Sponsee pairs will meet one-on-one monthly, as will the learning cohort for masterclasses with a featured Mentor or Sponsor. The full Mentor/Sponsor cohort will check-in as a group and individually with the steering committee over the summer.
Conclusion: Program evaluation and culminating farewell event will take place in December.