All artists are receive a one hour interview with a professional who evaluates their readiness for mentorship and recommends the next step.
Artists who are not quite ready to go on to a professional status are given a 10–15 hour mentorship with a professional artist and business workshops to help guide them to the next level of their training.
AWOL pairs its emerging artists with a professional mentor for up to 100 hours of guidance. They are given mentorships at no charge but are asked to contribute time and energy to AWOL and their mentors.
Emerging 27-year-old poet, Dan La Bellarte, has written since the age of 9. He applied to AWOL, writing his application in verse, for guidance to have his work more visible and widely heard. We paired him with F. Albert Salinas. Dan now reads regularly at open events, is preparing for his first collection of poems for publication, is connecting with our entire community of poets, and has been invited to read in Los Angeles.
Albert now says, “Who is mentoring whom? Dan and I take turns astounding each other with our poetry.” Dan and Albert are now both colleagues and friends. Dan says, “From day one, Albert has grabbed me by the hand at every opportunity to get my work out there. I know that he is proud of me and that has given me so much inspiration to reach my goals.”
PEER TO PEER
Skilled high school students teach art techniques to underserved younger students in exchange for Community Service Hours. 13 year old Mitzy wrote us a letter asking us to find her a ‘tutor’ because her parents could not afford flute lessons. We matched her with Kelsey, who plays flute with Dos Pueblos Orchestra and Youth Symphony. They now meet on a weekly basis working on technique and music theory. In a happy conclusion, Mitzy has been invited to play a duet with Kelsey at her year-end recital in June with her teacher. We are developing this program for summer to facilitate more success stories like Mitzy and Kelsey.