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Catching up with the Young Artist Mentorship Program

Jan 21, 2022, 10:09 AM by National Flute Association

Cohort one is a wrap

The first NFA Young Artist Mentorship Program cohort, which wrapped up last month, was a resounding success. Gabriel CruzAmanda GarciaIsaiah Shaw, and Natalie Trejo were mentored by Jeiran HasanCatherine Ramirez, and Brian Dunbar.

Each mentee met with their mentor multiple times throughout the duration of the program to talk through their interests and ideas. Mentees considered this—connecting with flutists from similar backgrounds and benefiting from their support and life experience—one of the most valuable aspects of the program.

"I really enjoyed getting to connect to other flutists who are from a marginalized cultural group, just like me," says mentee Natalie Trejo. "I felt support from the other mentors and mentees."

In addition to one-on-one meetings, participants enjoyed group meetings in which all mentors and mentees were present (including one session with guest speaker Taylor Irelan, who gave a crash course on running a small business).
Along with their mentors, mentees worked on individual professional projects and built knowledge and skills in areas including arts administration, building a professional social media presence, grant-writing, and entering competitions.

The 2021 YAMP crew is well positioned to launch into the future, with plans for exciting projects like a non-profit dedicated to providing music education opportunities for historically underrepresented students and an online hub for information about BIPOC composers and other resources for musicians of color.

"I am so proud of this first inaugural group, their hard work, and exciting projects!" says co-founder and mentor Jeiran Hasan. She and co-founder Mily Montanez look forward to the upcoming semester. Speaking of which...

Announcing the next round of participants

The following students will participate in the second iteration of the Young Artist Mentorship Program:
  • Jett Calderon (Wichita State University)
  • Gabrielle Davis (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Nicole Moriel (University of Texas at San Antonio)
  • John Nguyen (University of Texas at Dallas)
  • Drew Shipman (Northwestern University)
  • Kyrese Washington (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
Congratulations! We look forward to seeing what these bright young flutists achieve together.

To learn more about the Young Artist Mentorship Program, an initiative of the NFA Diversity and Inclusion Committee, click here.