Mentor Artists–Getting the Word Out

Mentor Artists Playwrights Project

Mentor Artists Playwrights Project

This is the group with which I have worked in Native American communities for these past years–and what gave birth to my Native Youth Documentary film project. These kids have voices that they don’t even recognize as powerful, stories they don’t realize the world needs to hear. The work is unlocking all of that pent up brilliance. If I could give you even the tiniest nugget of what it is to sit down and mentor, one-on-one with these young people, you, too, would recognize it as priceless.

Even as the financial and housing markets begin to revive, let me assure you, what hasn’t come back is federal funding…for anything. While most of us haven’t noticed the sequester as anything other than media bluster….except for a day or two of delayed flights that was quickly remedied…the Native American population continues to have dollars dry up for important resources. The resource with which I most concern myself is education. The challenges for a kid finishing high school on a reservation can be enormous, so when a project comes along like the Mentor Artists Playwrights Project (MAPP), that specifically addresses the most marginalized among an already marginalized community, and sparks tremendous passion and creativity, we must pay attention.

Please click on the link and visit the MAPP fundraising campaign, and learn more. Also check out the website and facebook page. Consider a donation to support this huge work. Even if your wallet is a bit light these days, “like” the facebook page, re-post the information to your community, spread the word. This is about you becoming a part of a community that refuses to let young people fall through the cracks. Be the net by helping others grow aware.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Caroline Lovell on May 31, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Hi Andrew, We met a few years back when you wrote an article about my project,/Traveling Postcards/. Since then we have grown into a full fledged nonprofit called the Women’s Wisdom Initiative! The reason I am writing is because your story about the Native population touched my heart. We are launching a cross country trip this summer called /Shelter to Shelter / and hope to visit and record stories of resiliency and love in the face of violence from many survivors of domestic violence, including Native women. In the small amount of research I have done, I see how poverty, boredom, lack of education and isolation all make violence towards native women 2.5 times more likely than to non native women in the US. We plan to hold our Traveling Postcards workshop with many women this summer and hope to include as many native women’s voices as possible. If you have any information to share with me that might educate or assist in my efforts I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much, Caroline Lovell


    • Posted by Andrew Mersmann on June 4, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      Caroline–great to hear from you! I’m going to give your info to my friend Tom who runs the Mentor Artists program and the Young Native Playwrights Initiative. I know there is some synergy there. I so hope you find the sense of home I found working in Native community–truly life-changing. Keep me posted!


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