What is the Koestler Arts Mentoring Scheme?
Since 2007 our Mentoring Scheme has been providing support to those who have left prison who would like to continue with their creative activities post-release by matching them with specially trained arts mentors.
Anyone who has a creative interest can apply to the Mentoring Scheme, no matter how far along they are in their creative journey. Koestler Mentors are experienced writers, artists, producers, musicians and craftspeople who will work with you to help you achieve your creative goals.
Goals are specific to the individual but might include applying to college, receiving feedback on work, gaining work experience, attending an event or exhibition, performing or building a portfolio.
Successful applicants will receive a year’s worth of mentoring support from a specially trained Mentor. Over the course of the mentoring year, Mentors and Mentees meet between 7-10 times. Mentees can have their travel costs and entry to events and exhibitions covered for meetings with their Mentor.
“Mentoring gave me focus and helped me plan my time. My work with my mentor gave me confidence, both in relation to my writing and in relation to exploring other projects and arts activities. I felt that in being seen as a writer who happened to have gone to jail rather than as a prisoner who could write, my own perspective on who I was and what I was able to achieve was transformed.”
– Former Mentee
How do I apply for Koestler Mentoring?
Whether you’d like some help to create new work, or guidance to take your talent to the next level, mentoring from Koestler Arts can help you progress.
If you’re interested in being mentored, you can download an application form below, and send it to the Outreach Team at FREEPOST KOESTLER ARTS. Alternatively, you can request a paper copy. We will write to you when we’ve received your application and ask a referee to support your participation in the mentoring scheme.Koestler Arts Mentee application form Koestler Arts Mentoring Leaflet
What’s a mentoring session like?
A typical mentoring session might involve:
- Going to an exhibition with your mentor to look at other artists’ work
- Receiving feedback on something you have recently created
- Asking your mentor for advice on your technique
- Working on an application to college or further education
- Exploring suggested resources to expand your knowledge
- Finding out about courses or events in your arts field
- Doing a joint project with your mentor to develop your skills
- Your mentor supporting you to perform a piece of your own work
We offer mentoring across England and Wales in a range of artforms. Through one-to-one mentoring sessions, we offer support to people with lived experience of the criminal justice system who want to develop their arts-based activities and skills.
You’ll work with your mentor to identify the goals you’d like to achieve, such as applying to college, creating a piece of work or accessing local arts resources, and receive support from your mentor and Koestler Arts to achieve these.