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Need mentoring? The Big Idea’s Mentoring in the Arts program is open!

The Big Idea Mentoring in the Arts Program
The Big Idea Mentoring in the Arts Program
ROUND TWO! CALL FOR ENTRIES: The Big Idea Mentoring in the Arts Program 2019


We are very excited to be able to launch the second The Big Idea Mentoring in the Arts Program!

We have had a lot of enquiries from around the country and yes, we plan to do regional programs across New Zealand in future!

This round we will be accepting applications from people based in Auckland and Northland (for reasons which will become clear). If you feel you could benefit from a bit of mentoring from someone who’s been around the block once or twice, here’s what you need to know.

The second round will open with 10-12 mentoring pairs and it will run for six months. Anyone in the arts can apply! You could be working for an arts organisation or a practitioner - painter, musician, writer, producer, designer, as long as you’ve got a legit claim to the creative sector, and a vision for how you can grow. 

Huia O’Sullivan, Executive Director of Ngā Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts. 

Here’s a testimonial from a mentoring pair from our first round of mentoring:

Having Tim walk alongside me and lend his ears, critique, love and experience to our organisation has been invaluable. It has allowed me to look at the work with fresh eyes and explore possibilities unthought of! He has supported me to bring about some significant changes that will have a lasting impact for our rangatahi and creativity.” - Huia O’Sullivan, Executive Director of Ngā Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts. 

As a mentor, the program has been a really valuable sharing process. The opportunity has been to get to know an amazing younger sector leader, to listen to her view of the world and the challenges and opportunities she sees – and based on this to offer suggestions of tools and approaches I have learned or developed over my career. Through this exchange, I have learned a lot – about fresh ways of looking at the impact the sector can have, and seeing new value in things I have known for a while, being reframed through a different lens.” - Tim Walker, Mentor.

If you think you’re up for this, get us an application before March 19. The web form will step you through a few questions about who you are and where you’re headed. The most important thing is to think about the kind of mentoring relationship you’d like and express clear goals you are determined to achieve in the six month period.

We will assess your application on its demonstration of your potential to benefit from the program and your readiness to apply the learnings within the timeframe. In addition, we need to make sure that there’s a mentor available who can provide the kind of advice you’re looking for. In our 2018 call out we received a huge number of applications and the ones that stood out to us were those who had clearly defined objectives and goals and what a mentor could help to achieve. Don’t rush the application! We advise you to get someone else to read over it before you send it our way.

Once we’ve made the selections, we will hold an orientation session in April to kick the program off. You’ll meet the rest of the crew and familiarise yourself with the next six months’ trajectory. Networking with others in the program means there will be opportunities for cross-pollination.

Click here to get to the application form. The cost to be part of the programme is $175+gst. Applications close on 19 March 2019. If you have any questions or are interested in being a mentor, please email Chrissy our Program Coordinator on

We are fortunate enough to have Foundation North believe in us enough to fund this initiative (we happen to think they are rather wonderful). Foundation North - as the name suggests - can only fund activities north of a line between Port Waikato Head to the Firth of Thames: check out the map below. If you live on the green shaded bit, you can apply. Our apologies to the Coromandelites.

Specifically, the area is north of a line following the Waikato River to the Whangamarino River, then along the Whangamarino River, before following the Mangatangi Stream to where it adjoins Mangatangi Road. The boundary then runs from the corner of Monument and Miranda Roads straight to Miranda. Their region covers all areas north of this, up to Cape Reinga and including the islands in the Hauraki Gulf. It excludes the Coromandel Peninsula.

We have also collaborated with the Mentoring Foundation to bring this programme to life. And we owe a debt of gratitude to the Tindall Foundation, who have supported the Mentoring Foundation to work across a range of sectors to bring best practice in mentoring and evaluation.  

If you are outside of the region and are interesting in a mentoring program please contact us, or sign up to our newsletters to find out when the program is coming to your area.

Written by

Chrissy Irvine

5 Mar 2019