Inspire, challenge and celebrate students and professional artists by sponsoring the Creative Mentorship Program!

Give the gift of creativity today by clicking here: EMPOWER - CONNECT - CELEBRATE!

Before we enter the 10th year of this program, the Durham Art Guild and Student U have decided to enter into an important strategic planning year for the Creative Mentorship Program. It is time for us to take a step back and analyze our program impact and develop our plans for deeper impact and sustainability into the future. This will entail professional consulting with our program partners, past and current progam administators, past student and mentor participants, as well as our program supporters.

WE STILL NEED SUPPORT and hope to raise $5,000 to fund this strategic planning process and the Student U arts engagement activities we are coordinating in the next year. 

While the program will not occur in it's typical form, we are planning to engage with Student U students through monthly local artist-led art activity workshops on-site at their campus during this strategic planning year. This will pay local artists for facilitation and engage a wider number of Student U students with art supplies and creative expression opportunities. These activities will also assist with identifying and recruiting students to participate in future cycles of the Creative Mentorship Program. Durham Art Guild is also planning to participate in Student U's Summer Internship Program by hiring a Student U intern to assist with our programs/operations and learn more about arts administration and arts advocacy.


The Creative Mentorship Program is a unique annual partnership between the Durham Art Guild and Student U. Together, our organizations connect high school students in Durham Public Schools with artist mentors from the Durham Art Guild. The program empowers students to discover and develop their creative voices and artistic skills through 20 weeks of one-on-one dedicated work with a professional artist, involvement with the local arts community through monthly field trips, and a culminating exhibition of their projects in the Durham Art Guild Gallery at Golden Belt Campus.  

Now going into year ten, the Creative Mentorship Program continues enriching the lives of Student U students by helping them to broadly envision their futures. They gain valuable tools for creative problem solving and creative self-expression while building a strong network that will support them in achieving their goals. Students participate in this program free of charge and we do compensate our artist mentors for their time, expertise, and dedication to the program.

To make a contribution through our secure campaign donation page please click here: 



  • Every donation makes an impact! - You can make a contribution in any amount that you prefer.
  • EMPOWER! - Donation of $2,000+

    Your contribution will cover all expenses for one student-mentor pair. EMPOWER an artist to share their skills and creativity with the next generation. EMPOWER a student to explore their own ideas and bring them to fruition. EMPOWER your community by forming lasting connections. 

  • CONNECT! - Donation of $1,000+

    Your contribution will support the program’s community outreach efforts. CONNECT students to a wide range of artists, organizations, exhibitions and programming through fields trips, workshops, and studio visits that will enrich and broaden their creative experience. 

  • CELEBRATE! - Donation of $500+

    Your contribution will support the final exhibit. CELEBRATE our students and mentors by providing professional framing and presentation for their work, supporting elements of the exhibition as well as promotional efforts for events and programming.


For the 2022 program cycle (January - June, 2022) we need to raise $14,000 in the fall of 2021 to provide an all online version of the program or hybrid online/social distanced program (if allowed). We safely adapted this program to an all digital format during the 2021 cycle and the students and mentors still had an incredible experience! The $14,000 budget covers compensation for the local artist mentors, art supply budgets for the student projects, workshop expenses (also supporting local artists), exhibition costs, staff management, and other program facilitation overhead.


If you have additional questions about the Creative Mentorship Program or if you would like to support the program in other ways, please contact our Executive Director, Katie Seiz, at

About the Durham Art Guild: Established in 1948, the Durham Art Guild is one of the oldest nonprofit, member-driven visual arts organizations in the U.S. celebrating over 70 years of service to regional artists. The Guild's mission is to enrich and connect our communities by creating opportunities and providing leadership for current and future visual artists and art enthusiasts. The Guild operates multiple gallery venues including one of the largest nonprofit galleries in the Triangle, offering over 20 rotating exhibits and receptions, free to the community throughout the year showcasing over 300 regional artists. 

About Student U: Student U is a community organization that uses the power of education, advocacy, and leadership to build a just and equitable Durham. We empower and equip first-generation college students in Durham Public Schools, their families, and educators to become the leaders that will transform our city. Together, we’re creating a Durham where all students succeed.

Featured images:
1st block: Images are from the 2018 CMP and the "Brought to Life" exhibition events. Photos courtesy of Negin Naseri and Student U. 2nd block: Images are from the 2017 CMP and the "Place of Sense" exhibition. Photos courtesy of Negin Naseri and Student U. 3rd block: All images of 2016 CMP "Seeing Myself" exhibition. Photos courtesy of Bob Noceck. 4th block: All images of 2015 CMP "Rites of Passage" exhibition. Photos ourtesy of Tim Walter.