DESIGN MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Our Design Mentorship Program was created to allow emerging and underrepresented designers to complete their own designs with the support of a professional company and mentors. The program pairs emerging designers with established designer mentors based on the support they require and what they hope to learn. We are interested in providing customized experiences, rather than the traditional “watch and learn” power dynamic.
Our dream for a Design Mentorship Program came from the 150+ artist chats AD Kat McCormack had with Atlantic Canadian artists in her first season, hoping to better understand the opportunities and experiences that local artists feel are necessary for them to strengthen their own artistic practice and output. The most common answer was simply being “in the room” with peers and mentors: learning through practice. As such, the Design Mentorship Program was created to allow emerging and underrepresented designers to have mentors that shadow and assist where necessary, so the emerging designers could get the experience they need to realize their own designs.
As part of our commitment to Atlantic Canadian artists, we are committed to offering opportunities to artists who are less often heard and whose voices are therefore most needed. In the technical theatre and design world, a common barrier is the sheer cost of training, which is almost exclusively offered as multi-year secondary education courses. We hope that this project will offset that barrier and provide new opportunities for interested artists to gain valuable and meaningful experience. The goal of the DMP is to expand the talent pool of Atlantic Canadian theatre designers (a demographic which currently lacks representation from underserved communities), and intend to recreate the process whenever possible.