by Peggy Beebe
Mentor Program Coordinator
The Funhouse is underway with its third annual arts-focused mentor program, which was launched through a collaboration between San Juan County Arts Council and Funhouse Commons in November 2018.
In the spring of 2017, the arts council reached out to the Funhouse with a vision: to create and support mentoring relationships between established artists and young people interested in the arts across San Juan County.
Four artists — Emmalee Bozek, Susie Shipman, Steve Gropp and Mark Ferrari — have been paired with four teens for this year’s program. All artists and teens come to the program with different ranges of skills and artistic abilities in a joint venture to create and learn from one another. The program continues in the hopes that artistic leaders within our community will pass on their knowledge to our youth, while in turn following the youths’ lead on their projects of choice.
“I am very excited about the program. We are working on two-dimensional mediums; journal making; journaling; and drawing as we explore and expand on the ideas, concepts and content that she is already interested in,” Shipman says of the young person she is working with.
The matches will meet about once a week through April. Artists and students have opted out of a community art show this year in order to give students a chance to focus on new skills with no pressure to perform. There will be a celebration for all involved at the end of April. The youth will have an opportunity to sell the work they created with their mentors at the San Juan Summer Arts Festival, located at the Brickworks Plaza in Friday Harbor, every Friday night in August. For more information, to make a donation, or to get involved with the San Juan County Arts Council, check out www.SanJuanCountyArts.org or contact Claire Wright at SanJuanCountyarts@gmail.com or 505-705-6796. For information about the mentor program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Peggy Beebe at 360-376-7177.