About

The Arts Mentors program pairs U.Va. students with largely underserved third and fourth grade students from a local elementary school to develop mentoring relationships and provide both groups of students exposure to different styles of fine and performing arts available in the local area. The project is a joint effort among the Arts departments at U.Va., Student Affairs, Burnley-Moran Elementary School, and several local arts organizations.

The arts education component is led by Associate Professor of Music Bonnie Gordon. Burnley-Moran teacher, and Curry 2010 alumna Rachel Savoy provides guidance on working with young children and particularly with underresourced children. A team of three graduate student program coordinators supervise the undergraduates and serve as “model mentors.” Director of Student Affairs Community Engagement Julie Caruccio provides training and supervision of all students, undergraduate and graduate, with specific attention given to engaging with the community.

The Arts Mentors program is in its third year and is an interdisciplinary effort funded by the Vice Provost for the Arts, U.Va.’s Arts Departments, and Student Affairs. In its first year it was funded largely through a Mead grant for faculty-student engagement; in its second year it was funded by Student Affairs with support from the departments of Art, Drama and Music, and the Office of Diversity and Equity.

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Goals & Objectives

U.Va. student mentors will:

  • Get to know a young person from the local community in a structured and fun environment
  • Attend a diverse set of arts events
  • Eat good food
  • Make connections with faculty and staff who are active in the local community
  • Make connections with other students interested in making a difference

U.Va. students can expect to learn:

  • More about the local community in which they are residents
  • How to connect with a young person
  • A little about different forms of fine and performing arts
  • Leadership and mentoring skills

Mentees will:

  • Attend a diverse set of arts events
  • Eat good food
  • Make connections with U.Va. faculty and staff who are active in the local community
  • Make connections with other students interested in the arts and college

Mentees can expect to learn:

  • What college is like from a current U.Va. undergraduate
  • A little about different forms of fine and performing arts
  • Leadership Skills

Contact Information

Bonnie Gordon Email >
Associate Professor, Department of Music
University of Virginia

Julie Caruccio Email >
Director, Student Affairs Community Engagement
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
University of Virginia


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