INTERVIEW WITH HEATHER REDFERN:
FM:What is your experience with/opinions on mentorship?
HR: It is only in the past 25 years we have had educational institutions teaching arts management; many of the current managers – including myself – have not had formal training in the field. We have been self taught or mentored and are now passing that on. Even with formal schooling, mentorship is essential.
FM:What are the direct benefits of mentoring that you feel cannot be developed via other means?
HR: Developing supportive professional relationships is one of the skills that is essential to artists and arts managers.
FM: Are there limitations to mentorship?
HR: It might be possible for a “mentoree” to become dependent on the mentor or to expect the mentor to “do the work” rather than guide the process.
FM: Which has greater value – self-initiated or formal mentoring – and why?
HR: Every mentorship needs to be self-initiated. It is impossible to mentor someone who doesn’t want to be in the situation.
FM: Why are mentorships not more readily available?
HR: Money and time.