Pathways Mentorship Program

PATHWAYS 2022-2024

What is PATHWAYS? 

PATHWAYS is a holistic mentorship program for emerging gender-diverse BIPOC theatre artists in the Portland area pursuing a professional career in theatre or the arts. The 2-year program offers artistic enrichment and community building and leads artists on a “pathway” to professional development grounded in the values of shared experience, cultivation, and expansion.


Co-founded and created by Minita Gandhi and Melory Mirashrafi, PATHWAYS is the first partnership between Artists Repertory Theatre (ART) and Age and Gender Equity in the Arts (AGE). 

PATHWAYS press release

What would each year of PATHWAYS look like? 

Year one:

Mentorship, artistic enrichment, and community building. 

Total time commitment: 5 hours per month. 

  • Mentorship: Cohort members are paired with a Local Theatre Leader for monthly mentorship meetings and a National Theatre Leader for four conversations engaged around their lived experience, artistic work and goals. All Local and National Theatre Leaders identify as gender-diverse and BIPOC. 
  • Artistic enrichment: 2 hours per month of individual or group professional development such as attending workshops, shadowing a rehearsal, production meeting, or tech process at Artists Rep.
  • Community building: Monthly 2-hour cohort events such as facilitated meetings or group outings to local theatre and other cultural events.

Year two:

A guided mainstage production process at Artists Rep, completing a “pathway” from artistic development to professional experience. 

Time commitment: 2 hours per month plus duration of full production. 

  • Guided production process: Each cohort member is paired with a new mentor on an ART mainstage production, guided through a supported production process, and credited and paid for their work. This phase of the program will be tailored to each cohort member and their artistic goals.
  • Community building: Monthly 2-hour cohort events such as facilitated meetings or group outings to local theatre and other cultural events.

Learn More

Why do we use the language we do? What does emerging gender-diverse BIPOC artist mean?

Language is fluid and as ever changing as we are. The language that serves and liberates us today may not do so tomorrow, and we acknowledge that while language may be created and accepted by a community, it will never fully represent all of our communities. Below are some definitions that we have crafted for clarity and transparency.

Emerging artist: 

We acknowledge that the term “emerging artist” embodies a range of experiences and is not just limited to age, number of years, or professional experience in the field. We would like to encourage you to use your own judgment/discretion – if you identify as an “emerging artist” (recently changed career paths, limited access to certain opportunities, other barriers), then you are one!



We use the term gender-diverse to describe anyone who experiences systemic discrimination as a result of their gender, including all nonbinary people, trans people, women (specifically BIPOC women), and more. We acknowledge that gender is not monolithic, and that the nuances of gender expression, role, and identity exist in multiplicity and always in relation to our other intersections. 



There is no comprehensive language to define the ways we are impacted by race and ethnicity. In the field of racial identity development, the current terminology is self-identification vs. racialization – racialization being the way someone sees you based on their own assumptions. We are here to support the way you see yourself. We use the term BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) and acknowledge that to be BIPOC is not a monolith, language is ever-changing, and the nuances of race, ethnicity, and colorism exist in multiplicity, and always in relation to our other intersections.



What do you walk away with after 2 years in the PATHWAYS program?
  • Monthly meetings with a Local Mentor for one year. 
  • Four conversations with a National Theatre Leader.
  • A community of artists and greater relationship with ART and the Portland theatre community.
  • Monthly community building events as a cohort. 
  • Skill building workshops and professional development. 
  • Guided and credited professional production process with a new local mentor. 
  • Professional theatre credit(s).
Do you have to be Portland-based to apply for PATHWAYS?

Yes. We are excited about artists who are invested in the Portland theatre community! PATHWAYS is designed to support our local artists; celebrate their skills and talents; and provide them with growth, visibility, and access.

What is the compensation model for PATHWAYS?

All participants will be paid $20/hour for their time.

What is the time commitment for PATHWAYS?

Year one: 5 hours per month for 9 months, September 2022 – May 2023. 

Year two: 2 hours per month plus guided production process (hours will vary) for 9 months, September 2023 – May 2024. 

This program is for artists, and we are in support of artists working. We will do our best to accommodate any personal or artistic scheduling conflicts.


What is our selection and pairing process?

PATHWAYS is fortunate to have a selection and pairing committee of 7 wonderful gender-diverse BIPOC artists and administrators. The process for selection and pairing takes place in three phases: 

1) Blind evaluation of applications using a holistic rubric. 

2) Individual meeting sessions. 

3) Guided pairing and final selection process. 

Applicants will be notified of their status at the end of each phase.


What happens if I am not selected?

We hope that this application is more than a means to selection and is the opening of a door. PATHWAYS is one experience specific to our current resources, but ALL people who apply have the option to be added to and amplified in ART’s actor and designer database, as well as receive a monthly newsletter featuring open positions, casting calls, and opportunities.