Since 2007, we have supported ex-prisoners in continuing their artistic engagement by matching them with a specially trained arts mentor.
Our mentoring scheme is designed to support people who have experience of the criminal justice system and who have a keen interest in the arts to develop their practice in the community. Koestler mentors support the mentee in developing their skills e.g. coaching them through building their arts portfolio, identifying other arts opportunities, disseminating their work and/or applying to educational courses. Mentees are provided with up to 10 mentoring sessions over a 12 month period.
A small number of Named Koestler Scholarships are awarded each year to award winners who have an existing body of work. The recipients of this mentoring are also awarded £150 in prize money and £150 of art materials. The work of Koestler Scholars is showcased at our exhibitions.
Hear from a Koestler mentee
This video was made by a former Koestler mentee for Koestler Arts and provides an insight into the Mentoring Scheme by sharing the experiences and artworks of 6 artists and writers who have benefitted from Koestler Mentoring.
“The Koestler Awards have built so much self-esteem in prisoners that I believe it is the most effective rehabilitation tool in the prison system today.”
-Koestler Award Winner