This past 2013-14, Mural Routes ran a pilot program called CONTINUUM. The program ventured to support our emerging artists in “bridging the gap” towards a professional career in mural art.
11 of our emerging artists (Leadership Training in Mural Making Grads, or past employees) were accepted into the CONTINUUM one-year pilot program. More than a dozen “unofficial” participants, Mural Routes emerging artists, were involved in capacity building opportunities through the program.
CONTINUUM:a mentoring and apprenticeship program for emerging mural artists designed to help them reach their potential to become practising, paid professionals working in mural art and related fields.
How did it work?
Largely self-directed, each apprentice was guided in an initial self-evaluation and then expected to customize a program of learning and apprenticeship in order to achieve their own professional goals which lead to confidence in entering the work force and leading projects in the field of mural art. Workshops, projects and opportunities were recommended by Mural Routes on an individual basis, and the group met and communicated throughout the year to stay on track.
Components of CONTINUUM:
- Self-evaluation to identify gaps that are needed to reach apprentices professional goals
- Creation of an individualized, one-year program of tasks, teaching and apprenticeship based on self-evaluation
- Mentoring and matching to qualified artists and specialists for the purpose of job shadowing, apprenticeships and specific skill development
- Networking sessions to teach, learn and share with other participants and mentors/professionals (participation in Mural Routes’ 16th National Mural Symposium)
- Honoraria to apprentices for job shadowing
- Access to Mural Routes’ network of mural practitioners from locally to global levels
- A supportive collective of 8 -10 apprentices who can encourage each other as well as combine creative forces and skills
- Assistance with future work placements
Skill Development Options:
- Administration & Project Management Skills: Financial (Budget, Grant-writing, Invoices), Time management, Report-writing, Organization (Excel), and Fundraising
- Hands-on/Production Skills: Translating designs (scale, projection & enlargement), On-site Health & Safety, Materials knowledge, Wall assessment, and Scaffolding Use
- Teaching & Facilitation Skills: Leadership Development, Team-building, Delegating Tasks, Monitoring, Equity & Diversity training
- Communications Skills: Presentation, Portfolio Development, Documentation, Promotion, Social Media, Photoshop for Design & Maquettes, Responding to job postings and calls for proposals
Final Report: We will be uploading our Final Program Report, including observations and plans to move forward with our dedication to training emerging muralists with new CONTINUUM programs in the future. Stay tuned to the Mural Routes website for this.
Program Value and Feedback:
Feedback from our participants has been key to confirming Mural Routes’ dedication to the capacity-building and mentoring of emerging mural artists as an extremely worthwhile venture:
Being the lead artist on [a community mural project] this summer was an important learning experience… Taking a lead and much of the responsibility for the project built on these preliminary experiences and pushed my learning to the next level… I have become a better team player, communicator and project planner. – CONTINUUM Participant
The Future of CONTINUUM:
We are committed to finding ways to stay in touch and support the emerging muralists with which we build relationships through our training programs and projects. Please contact us if you are looking for an artist to lead or assist on a project – we have many great artists who are eager for more ‘on the wall’ experience!
For more information, Contact:
Program Coordinator, Tara Dorey
firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the office at 416-698-7995
This program is made possible through the support of the Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council.