Actor/producer Raymond Choo Kong and ballet dancer and head of dance at the Academy for the Performing Arts Nancy Herrera are among the new mentors for this year’s edition of the Mentoring by the Masters Programme.
Raymond Choo Kong will mentor on self-development through the theatre arts, and Herrera on the art and practice of Caribbean classical ballet.
The other three mentors are Barbara Jenkins who will mentor on literary arts, specifically life writing: your story; your voice, Gillian Bishop, contemporary jewellery design, and Dr Satnarine Balkaransingh East Indian dance in the contemporary Caribbean.
The programme, which is one of the key initiatives of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, was launched at Queen’s Hall lobby yesterday. It is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from accomplished artists and cultural workers to emerging practitioners in their respective fields. This year’s mentees will have the valuable opportunity to undergo an intense two-month training programme under the new mentors.
Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, minister of arts and culture, said: “Mentoring is the oldest way of passing down knowledge. And those doing so must have a sense of responsibility because those coming behind them are looking them and learning from them.”
She applauded the mentors for taking that responsibility and their valuable time to impart their the knowledge of their skills to mentees that she sees can only benefit the future of TT culturally.
Deputy permanent secretary Susan Shurland also said the programme creates a space to transfer knowledge from seniors to young upcoming artistes in different spheres of culture.
She added, since its inception in 2012, approximately 553 participants have been mentored by 30 mentors.
“Last year’s call for applications generated a total of 172 persons and already 130 persons have registered for this year.”
Daniella Carrington, culture officer at the ministry, described the mentors as agents for change to the cultural landscape,among other positive impacts the programme has had.