Announcing NAACBoston Mentor/Sponsor Cohort 4.0!

Announcing the 4th Mentor/Sponsor Program Cohort

 

ArtsBoston celebrates the start of NAACBoston’s 4th Mentor/Sponsor Program (MSP4), a groundbreaking initiative to foster meaningful connections and professional growth within our community through six months of workshops and meetings.

NAACBoston began in 2016 to provide BIPOC arts administrators with a way to identify and connect with other colleagues of color in their fields and to create a sense of solidarity within the arts sector. Soon after, an online directory was created and quickly adopted by grantmakers looking for new, diverse voices to serve on review panels. A peer-supported listserv came next to share job listings and funding opportunities. NAACBoston grew to more than 500 members in its first five years.

Sponsors in this year’s program are: Connie Chin, CEO of Global Arts Live; Maria DeJesus, fundraising consultant; Yooree Losordo, Director of Network Operations for PRX; Mayowa ‘MO’ Osinubi, Principal Owner of Social Glue Media; Mwalim Peters, a Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Elder and Artistic Director of Oversoul Theatre Collective, Inc.; and Daphne Walker, CEO & Creative Director of Canvas Studio Boston.

Mentors for 2021 are: Dimitri Dubuisson, artist and illustrator; Sam Johnson, owner of JustBeSnappin Photography; Patricia Louidor, Digital Youth Engagement Coordinator at the National Park Service; Makeysha Montgomery, Individual Giving Manager for Emmanuel Music; Mehdi Raoufi, Director of School Programs, Open Door Arts; and Chris Robinson, Co-founder and Vice President of Think Outside The Vox.

The program’s sponsees are: Yawa Degboe, Founder of Kids.Think.Art; Cherline Gene, Founder of The Sip Down LLC; Janelle Gilchrist, Artistic Director and Choreographer of Janelle Gilchrist Dance Troupe; Alfredo Muñoz, Director of Marketing for Boston Gay Men’s Chorus; AnaCristina Rabines, Ticketing Services Associate at the Huntington Theatre Company; and Adriana Zuñiga, Marketing Manager at Broadway In Boston.

Program mentees are: Damaris Calderon, Community Engagement Manager, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Lumyr Derisier, Principal at Photography By Lumyr; Jeremy Gooden, Internship & Program Manager at EdVestors; Miguel Petris, Community Engagement Coordinator for Landmarks Orchestra; Olivia Reinebach, Planetarium Music & Arts Presenter/Performer at Museum of Science; and Marcia Williams, CEO of Photosbymarcia LLC and Founder of Expressive Art Studios.

NAACBoston Director Ola Akinwumi, who oversees the NAACBoston program, says the Sponsorship and Mentorship Program fosters interaction between the executives and their paired administrators through one-on-one meetings and career counseling, six monthly professional development workshops and panel discussions, and networking events held by the NAAC organization. She says administrator participants also receive access to learning resources and services in a program toolkit. “This year’s pairings show the range of talent and experience that make this program both helpful and successful,” Akinwumi says. “These relationships provide valuable guidance for the rising generation of arts administrators of color and contribute to our sector’s success and advancement.”
“NAACBoston’s Mentor/Sponsor Program is both unique and needed,” says Connie C. Chin, Chief Executive Officer of Global Arts Live (l., courtesy photo). “As Boston continues to see changes in the demographics of its workforce, it’s imperative that all industries find ways to mentor mid-career BIPOC workers. It’s especially important for the cultural industry to nurture the careers of these workers; these are people following their passions, often working long hours and for less than their corporate counterparts. I look forward to engaging with my sponsee and others in the program to encourage them to grow in the industry, find work-life balance, and see that a prosperous career can be possible for them.”
NAACBoston began in 2016 to provide BIPOC arts administrators with a way to identify and connect with other colleagues of color in their fields and to create a sense of solidarity within the arts sector. Soon after, an online directory was created and quickly adopted by grantmakers looking for new, diverse voices to serve on review panels. A peer-supported listserv came next to share job listings and funding opportunities. NAACBoston grew to more than 500 members in its first five years.

Foundational support for NAACBoston comes from Bank of America, an early program funder. Ongoing funding for the Sponsorship and Mentorship programs comes from the Mass Cultural Council. Additional funders include the Boston Cultural Council, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Shubert Foundation, and an anonymous donor. NAACBoston venue partners for 2024-25 are The Loop Lab and Grub Street.

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