Arts Mentorship Program

The objective of DSTL Arts’ free Arts Mentorship Program for “at-risk” 16–21 year olds is to help students develop new and existing skills in their preferred art medium while also learning important skills for entering careers in the arts.

Students begin by choosing their preferred artistic medium and a social topic, or topics, they feel inspired by, from poverty and education, to environmental issues and more. By working one-on-one or in a small group with their Arts Mentor, students begin exploring these social issues while receiving coaching in their individual art projects, with a focus on developing and mastering new storytelling and art techniques.

After working towards creating new stories for our community with the guidance of an Arts Mentor, students prepare an artistic portfolio and personal art project to display or perform in an annual, DSTL Arts-coordinated art show.

For details about the art forms we coach students in, visit the following pages:

Creative Writing Mentorships

Visual Arts and Photography Mentorships

Enrollment in our Arts Mentorship Program lasts for a minimum of one year, and may continue for students who show true dedication to their craft. Students enrolled in our program must meet our eligibility criteria at their time of enrollment. Continue on to learn more about our Arts Mentorship Program’s eligibility requirements.

Arts Mentorship Program Eligibility and Application Criteria

Youth ages 16–21 years old only
Students must meet at least one of three following eligibility requirements:

  • part of a low-income family
  • have a learning or physical disability
  • current or former foster youth

A portfolio of previous artistic work must be submitted for review (copies only, do not submit originals)
Student applicants must attend and successfully complete an entrance interview and orientation

For further instructions on How to Apply, download the Arts Mentorship Program Enrollment Application (English and Spanish applications included; please fill out one per applicant).

Applications only accepted during the following dates:
January 1–January 31
July 1–July 31

Please note:

Due to our current program capacity, we are forming a wait list. Applicants shall be informed of future openings in the order that their applications are received.

Applications received outside of these dates may be considered during the next application period. Portfolios shall not be returned. Incomplete applications shall not be considered.

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