2015 Santa Maria Mural Mentorship

Teen Arts Mentorship

30+ years of providing creative opportunities to the teens of Santa Barbara County.

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The Teen Arts Mentorship Program is a county-wide, 30+ year old arts enrichment and career development program that offers students ages 13-18 the unique opportunity to work closely with industry professionals and master artists in a studio environment. Working in small groups, students spend over 30 hours producing a portfolio of work to be exhibited and sold in The Arts Fund Community Gallery or performed in a public venue.

Students acquire specific art-making skills, and exhibition and/or performance experience, and are introduced to the aesthetic styles and career choices of artists in our community. The master artists become role models and references for students as they consider advanced studies in the arts. 

Over 30+ years, we’ve worked with:

We believe all students should have access to mentorship, regardless of their race, gender, background, and socioeconomic status.

Teen Arts Mentorship Application

Mentorship applications are currently CLOSED! Check back soon for more information, and follow our Instagram @artsfundsb and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date!

Barbara Larson with 2020 Printmaking Mentorship student
Barbara Larson with 2020 Printmaking Mentorship student

Demi Boelsterli & painting mentorship student
Musical Theater Ensemble final performance

2023 Mentorships

In 2023, The Arts Fund hosted 6 mentorships featuring students from 7 Santa Barbara County High Schools, serving over 60 students.

The mentorships included All Levels Hip-Hop Dance, Self Expression Through Painting, Musical Theater Ensemble, Page to Stage Poetry, Introduction to Music Production, and Traditional/Digital Art Mash-Up.


3D Printing
Singing in Theatre
Gallery/Exhibition Training
Landscape Painting
Abstract Painting
Japanese Woodblock Printing
Darkroom Photography
Creative Writing
Ink Wash Drawing
Mural Design
Classical Drawing

Collage Printmaking
Character Illustration
Metal Sculpture
Interactive Media
Kinetic/Robotic Sculpture
Watercolor Painting
Monotype Printmaking
Alternative Process Photography
Relief Printmaking
Stone Carving
College & Career Prep

And more!

2023 Musical Theater Ensemble Mentorship

“My experience was great, there are no words to truly say how happy I am with myself after the class ended. I am more motivated and informed about my options after high school.”

Keren Chi, 2019 Singing Mentorship

Students engaged in the arts have higher GPAs, standardized test scores, college-going rates and lower drop-out rates, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Arts Spark Creativity & Innovation

Creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders, with 72% saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. Noble Laureates in the sciences are 17% more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than their peers.

Creative | Collaborative | Risk-Takers | Lifelong Learners | Innovators

2023 Self-Expression Through Painting Mentorship

“Being able to communicate with a professional artist was an experience I never thought I would be able to have in high school, and The Arts Fund made it possible. This priceless program is a gem, and something l will always count as a major stepping stone in my creative career.”

2013 Teen Arts Mentorship Student

2015 Student Charcoal

“I loved that we had a real hands on experience in a dark room, and that there was more trial and error learning, like my mentor wasn’t holding my hand through every step but was there to give instruction and advice.”

Alex Shennum, 2005 Photography Mentorship

2016 Dance on Camera Mentorship
2015 Student Alternate Process Photography


You can make a difference for The Arts Fund! Our generous donors help ensure that the arts continues to thrive in Santa Barbara County, and that students and professionals alike have the opportunities and resources to develop and share their passion for art and creativity.

Your donation helps create myriad opportunities to support local artists and businesses. By donating, you are directly investing in our youth and the future of a sustainable local arts community. Together, we can cultivate Santa Barbara County’s creative minds and continue to build a community on the foundation of empowerment, innovation, and success.

The Arts Fund offers a variety of donation options to suit your individual circumstances, from one-time individual donations to monthly payments to corporate giving. Read more on our support page, and make your donation count!