In 2022 Monkeyhouse received a grant from the Somerville Arts Council to pilot a new program, Buttress. Adding that to funding from the Innovation Fund and the Miner Nagy Family Gift Fund, Buttress has exceeded our expectations and is filling much needed gaps within existing educational and career development programs.
Our Covid Collaborations intentionally developed relationships with organizations who already had mentoring programs to leverage the support we received to help everyone though the early pandemic years. Through those relationships we discovered the need for individual and targeted mentoring within all areas of the community, from organizations to individual artists. Buttress coalesced our internal mentoring programs in response to needs of the community.
Our 2022 Buttress programs have:
mentored over 35 artists for individual mentoring sessions
provided seven Brown Bag Lunch conversations where artists talk to experts in a variety of fields
submitted 7 applications and worked with 5 artists on applications in progress at our first Open Grant Writing Community Mentorship Session
Mentoring has covered a dynamic range of topics including:
grant writing and finding the right grants
building an online presence
writing a bio and resume
All of this was FREE to artists. Funding for this program allowed karen, Nicole, guest mentors, and the invited experts for each Brown Bag Lunch to be paid for their valuable time and knowledge.
Buttress is a natural extension of the mentoring we began in 2020 with our Covid Collaborations where we supported more than 125 artists from around the globe. Through those programs artists we have mentored have gone on to:
receive tens of thousands of dollars in funding
be accepted to choreographic and mentorship programs like the BCA/BDA Residency, Mass Humanities, and OnStage Dance Company’s 360
write and receive their first grants
host their first fundraiser
rebrand their company
pay their staff and/or dancers for the first time
We are looking to develop Buttress as an umbrella for all of Monkeyhouse’s mentoring programs. Your donation will ensure these programs can grow to be robust and still remain sustainable, most especially for the mentors themselves. While karen and Nicole are thrilled to share this support far and wide and have donated dozens of hours through the pandemic, it’s important that we build a system that allows them and any guest mentors to be compensated for their time and expertise. Equally, it’s important that artists have access to these resources for free. One of the things we learned from the artists we worked with early in the pandemic is just how many of them are living at or below the poverty line. Many are struggling to get their basic needs met and these resources increase the viability of continuing to work as an artist.