Mentorship Program- A Team Based Approach

2017 Applications are closed. Please check back later in 2017 for next year's cycle. 

Do you want to enhance your career in the arts? Are you interested in a different area than you currently work in?

If the answer is yes, check out Rising Arts Leaders Mentorship Program.

This third annual program offers emerging leaders a unique opportunity to strengthen essential skills, explore broader career ideas and increase their effectiveness in the field.

The program is organized around five themes, each representing a position or track in an emerging leader’s career. Participants will be assigned a group of 2-3 Mentors with a unique perspective and knowledge of the theme area.

Themes for the 2016 RALSD Mentorship Program are:

1. Non-Profit Arts
2. Digital Media
3. Curation
4. Arts Advocacy
5. Performing Arts

Application Process: 

The applications open on December 1, and the deadline to submit is January 1.  All applications will be confirmed and reviewed by the Steering Committee. If selected to be a Mentee, the Mentee will be notified in January and invited to meet their Mentors to discuss their goals in the program.


The role of a Rising Arts Leader Mentor is to provide wisdom, guidance, networking opportunities and feedback to an emerging leader. Mentors are chosen based on their superior qualifications and reputation in the San Diego community.


As a member of Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego, each Mentee has the desire to develop professionally and increase his/her connections in the community. Applicants will register for a theme and share their expectations and goals for the mentorship. Mentees will be chosen for their ambition, sincerity and enthusiasm for growth.


RAL is sensitive to each Mentor and Mentee’s work schedule, while at the same time ensuring both parties have a valuable experience. We ask that Mentors commit to:
● 6 months
● 3 in-person meetings (minimum)
● 2 phone calls/email exchanges
● Feedback to RAL Mentorship Committee for evaluation and future
We ask that Mentees commit to:
● 6 months
● 3 in-person meetings (minimum) with each Mentor
● 2 phone calls/email exchanges with each Mentor
● Feedback to RAL Mentorship Committee for evaluation and future planning

Themes for the 2016 RALSD Mentorship Program were:

  1. Fundraising and Development
  2. Arts Entrepreneurship
  3. Marketing
  4. Arts Education
  5. Community Leadership

To learn more about the 2016 Themes and Objectives click here.

2015 Mentees & Mentors

Fundraising & Development Mentee: Ashley Toolan

Fundraising & Development Mentors: April Farrel (MCASD) & Jana Holsenback (MOPA) 

Marketing Mentee: Megan Smith

Marketing Mentors: Karen Coutts (BPCP/KC Fundraising Solutions), Shaun Spalding (Private Attorney), & Kim Richards (STEM to STEAM)

Collaboration: Social Services Mentee: Jeffrey Kirkeeng

Collaboration: Social Services Mentors: Matt D'Arrigo (ARTS), Elizabeth Washburn (Combat Arts), & Ethan Van Thrillo (MCASD)

Arts Education Mentee: Anna Roberts

Arts Education Mentors: Joaquin Ortiz (MOPA) & Ed Abeyta (UCSD)

Community Leadership Mentee: Stephanie Swinton

Community Leadership Mentors: Dalouge Smith (SDYS), Katy McDonald (SDMA), & Patrick Stewart (Words Alive)