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Support artists mentor other artists

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My name is Edgar Martins and I’m a visual artist and the co-founder of The Moth House, a UK based independent publishing house and arts organisation.

The Moth House has worked in the public arts sector since 2002 and it has a double focus: on the other hand the publication of high quality and experimental artists’ books and, on the other, the delivery of a myriad of arts and educational activities, such as exhibitions, talks, symposia, workshops, etc.

Over the past few years we have we have focused many of our activities to support emerging artsits and groups/individuals who often get overlooked (artists from economically challenged backgrounds, artists suffering from mental health disorders, artists on the Autism spectrum, ex-offenders and their families, suicide and homicide bereavement groups, etc.)

This year our aim is to help less established artists respond to the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic & to provide them a platform to launch, innovate & adapt to a changing future.

The initiatives launched by the UK government  and most UK Arts organisations and agencies to help artists deal with the Covid-19 emergency, were only designed for immediate financial relief (primarily for established artists with a track record in the public sector). They fell short of supporting the most needed: artists and young practitioners who have yet to get a foothold in the art world.

The Moth House and I have been trialling a mentorship scheme over the past 2 months which we believe fills this gap, providing artists the support they urgently need to deal with the financial and creative needs of their practice as well as to launch their careers and projects. Up until now this trial and been part funded and part paid but we would like to make it completely free for participants.
What we are proposing and hoping to raise funds for is for a unique initiative, with a simple premise: to pay mid-career artists a small fee to mentor emerging artists, who in turn will mentor someone even less established than them.
Our hope is to provide mid career artists, who have suffered loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic a small stipend to give 100-150 one-to-one mentorship session, of around 1H30m each, to someone just leaving arts college or looking for advice to develop work a project. In this session the mentor will look at their work and provide them invaluable information. This may include:  advice on how to develop a project/book/research or how to present it to galleries/museums/publishers; feedback on university/grant applications to develop or fund a new or ongoing project or general career advice/marketplace contacts/referrals to publications/galleries/museums to disseminate their projects.

The mentee, in turn, when ready, will also mentor someone else in the same vein, perhaps someone at college.
Crisis tend to have a much more lasting impact in the arts sector than many other sectors. I think the only way we can get through this is by supporting each other and especially those that are just starting out.
We hope we can count with your support and donations.


Edgar Martins

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