Upcoming Webinar

Indigenous Arts Mentorship in the Valley

Thursday, January 13, 2021
6:30 – 8 pm

In this online panel, leaders in the Indigenous arts and creative community will discuss their process, work and experiences with art and mentorship in western Massachusetts and beyond.

The panel includes:

Dan Shears: Beadworker, Traditional Hide Tanner, Birchbark Artisan and Member of the Nulhegan Abenaki

Deborah Spears Moorehead: Painter, Sculptor, Historian, Traditional Culture Bearer, Composer, Performer, Author and Member of the Seaconke Pokanoket Wampanoag Tribal Nation

Jennifer Lee: Bark Basket Maker, Educator and enrolled with the Metis Nation of North America and the Northern Narragansetts

Liz Coldwind Santana Kiser: Elder, Council Woman, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Chaubunagungamaug Band of Nipmuck Indians

This panel is a great opportunity to learn more about the joys and challenges of being an Indigenous artist in Western Massachusetts and beyond.

david brule

Moderated by David Brule, president of the Nolumbeka Project, Inc., member of the Nehantic Tribal Council and coordinator of the National Park Service study of the 1676 massacre at Peskeompskut.

Valley Arts Mentors supports artists in the Connecticut River Valley, connecting them with resources to help grow their practice. We provide new artists with the opportunity to work with experienced artists for extended periods of time, while creating a referral network and fostering resource sharing between affiliated artists and partnering organizations. 

Helping new artists transition their work from a passion to a business

Opportunities for early career artists to work with experienced artists for extended periods

Sharing the artistic work of early career artists with the general public

Creating new artistic resources, including our recent webinar series 

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In spring 2019, Shelburne Falls' Piti Theatre Company, Holyoke Media and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County received a planning grant from the Community Foundation of Western MA through their Valley Creates initiative to lay the groundwork for a new organization dedicated to supporting artists and arts organizations committed to mentoring young people.

Our Goals

Annual Festival

Celebrating the work of young people that brings organizations, youth and the public together for networking, learning, and media exposure

Referral Network

Referrals between partnering organizations to connect mentored youth with potential internship and employment opportunities

Resource Sharing

Making it easier for mentors and partnering organizations to share resources, best practices, and solutions to challenging questions


Creating VAM+, a network of non-arts organizations interested in offering opportunities to young people who have developed their skills with a local arts organization

Online Visibility

Creating an online presence for organizations and participants as part of the ArtsHub, further facilitating networking, referrals and event promotion

Partner Organizations & Artists

A Shurman Edit

Amherst Cinema

Anne macon

Artspace Greenfield

Ascendance Inner World Arts

Battat Glass


Center for Design Engagement

Children’s Museum at Holyoke

Drama Studio

Enchanted Circle

Eric Lemm, Guitarist

Girls Inc. of the Valley

Greater Holyoke YMCA

Greene Room Productions

Greenfield Public Library, Children’s Department

Greenfield Community Television

IzzyG and Company

Judy Kahooti Design

Lyra Music

Laura Josephs, Pianist

Make-It Springfield

Massachusetts Academy of Ballet

MIFA Victory Theatre

Musica Franklin

Northampton Community Music Center

Nuestras Raices

Piti Theatre Company

Print Shop Inc.

RadioPlasma, Holyoke


Springfield Cultural Partnership

Wayne Smith, Cellist

Starlight Youth Theatre

The Dieselworks

Water Street Barn

Non-Arts Partner Organizations

Big Brothers & Big Sisters Pioneer Valley Network

Community Action Pioneer Valley, Youth Programs

Creative Economy Network

Greenfield Savings Bank

Greenfield Public Library

Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts

MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board

Signature Sounds

Springfield Partners for Community Action

Donald M. Stevens Consulting

Valley Arts Mentors is supported by a grant awarded by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts’ ValleyCreates Program, with funding from the Barr Foundation.

Valley Arts Mentors Webinar Series and Early Career Artist Mentoring programs are supported in part by grants from the Agawam, Chicopee, Easthampton, Holyoke, Ludlow, Northampton, Orange, Southampton, South Hadley, Springfield and Wilbraham Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


Community Foundation Logo

Valley Arts Mentors is a collaborative project of Piti Theatre Company, Holyoke Media and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County