Mentoring At Risk Youth
Catalyst for Youth finds inspiration and direction in the work of Mosaic, a Washington based organization founded by mythologist Michael Meade. Mosaic seeks to create cross-cultural alliances, mentoring relationships and social connections built upon personal trust and a commitment to bridging unhealthy divisions in today’s communities. Mosaic incorporates knowledge learned in the trenches of contemporary community work by such pioneers as Luis Rodriguez, and Malidoma Somé and draws inspiration from the traditions of many cultures and helps young people navigate the rites of passage into adulthood. In their approach, youth are not simply 'the problem,' rather they are a reflection of serious issues troubling the culture at large. Viewed this way, youth are seen as valuable agents of change who play a necessary part in cultural healing and transformation.
The photograph in the upper right is Curtis Manzano visitng with poet/ author, youth advocate Luis Rodriguez who he met at a Mendocino retreat for younger and older men presented by Mosaic. Michael Meade generously offered Curtis a scholarship so he could attend the retreat. And during the week Luis offered his coffeehouse/gallery Tiachucha in Sylvan, CA to Curtis so he could have a solo art exhibit. His work was shown for two months at this lovely space.
An adjunct aspect of Catalyst focuses and supports those in the community who have been inspired by a young person to be a mentor. Catalyst provides opportunities for training in core ideas of mentoring. According to Michael Meade the word ‘mentor’ refers to ‘lived knowledge’ and comes from the old myth in which Mentor is a guide and teacher who works through inspired language and knowledge of survival.
Through mentor training, both inspiration and practical, those working in our community can discover ways of clarifying what they have to offer in the way of teaching, guiding and passing on living skills and essential arts for surviving the challenges of contemporary life. This process can be applied to enhance existing high school programs like Lincoln High School’s ASAP, Gear Up and Future Vision programs and used to discover new forms of mentoring that develop school and community based projects.
The photograph to the upper right shows Michael Meade and some of the men gathered for the 2002 annual Younger and Older Men retreat in Mendocino. Michael is third from the right.
Two Fish Design
Two Fish Design in San Jose is an extraordinary art and design studio run by Cherri Lakey and Brian Eder who work on many fronts to support and bring art into a central position that serves the needs of the Bay area and beyond. Their vision flows from an ever deepening connection to and appreciation of contemporary culture. Cherri and Brian have welcomed Catalyst for Youth mentored teenagers and young adults into their programs.
Anno Domini – A.D. is Two Fish's philanthropic endeavor. It's a labor of love created as a space where new, emerging and often ignored artforms could flourish and be celebrated; Anno Domini has come to be recognized nationally for consistent vision.
Phantom Galleries – Phantom Galleries are temporary art exhibits occupying vacant storefronts. The project aims to provide local artists with an opportunity to exhibit their work, while fostering economic development by drawing attention to available retail space. Cherri and Brian 's vision is to prove the importance of collaboration between the city and local artists, creating a future of support between both. (http://populuspresents.com/main/pg/)
The photograph to the upper right shows Cherri Lakey and Curtis talking about art at a Phantom Gallery reception on Post and First Street. The photograph to the lower right shows Brian Eder and Curtis discussing installation ideas for a Phantom Gallery exhibit.
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