This title is neither violent onomatopoeia nor a Femi Kuti reference, rather I quote my mom’s favorite phrase which is synonymous to “check, check, check.” While I’d cringe whenever my mom exclaimed this in her Filipino accent, I think it captures my enthusiasm around the three key accomplishments (some unexpected) that resulted from the Los Angeles emerging leader mentorship program.
People rarely wield the science to invent and hand-craft their own mentor. I’ve observed that mentors tend to emerge in unlikely places and heighten or recede in their presence throughout one’s life. But, in 2007, a nine-member taskforce of Los Angeles Emerging Arts Leaders (EAL/LA) had lost patience with an organic model of mentor acquisition, and began scheming on how to meet a dream career mentor through professional connections and a structured program.
After a year of monthly meetings to strategize recruitment, the matching process, the structure, marketing, and evaluation, we officially launched the Arts Professional Advisors Link (APAL) in the fall of 2008. Each emerging leader member completed an “application” which described professional development needs and wants in a mentor. As a team, we reviewed one another’s applications and leveraged our connections, to help match advisors to the profiles drawn up in the applications. Advisees were charged with all of the administrative work around the program and were to initiate and organize all advisor meetings (four at the least) over the course of the program year. The advisee was to steer the content of the meeting conversations and bring clear, yearlong goals to the table around which the advisor might provide guidance. Over the course of the year, we threw a kick-off orientation mixer, a mid-year opera outing and mixer and a culminating mixer. Read the rest of this entry »