Artist Mentorship Hub


Applications are now open for our
Mentorship Hub for Poets & Literary Artists
on December 10, 2023.


ARTogether is pleased to host a 1-day program for 1st/2nd generation emerging refugee and immigrant poets and literary artists in the Bay Area. This program centers gathering, collective power building, and peer connection while providing mentorship and guidance led by local poets, literary artists, and cultural workers established in the field. Participants will reflect on their own journeys as literary artists thus far, identifying their goals and needs, and grounding their values and wishes. Please see below for a list of this year’s facilitators and program offerings.

Applicants must be a Bay Area based poet or literary artist who is a refugee, immigrant, or child of refugees/immigrants to apply. We strongly encourage and welcome applications from BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ 1st/2nd generation writers.

This program will be held in-person at the ARTogether Center located at 1200 Harrison St., Oakland.

Applications Due: Sunday, November 26, 2023
Program Date: Sunday, Dec 10 (9:30 AM – 6 PM)


Mapping Arts Praxis: Exploring Our Values and Time through Mapmaking
Facilitator: Sabina Kariat 
Participants will view their lives as maps, engaging in mapmaking, illustration, and collage to identify their aspirations and make space for those goals in their lives. Artists will define the values that matter to them, portion out time and space in their maps to dedicate to those values, and engage in discussion about ways to actualize the proportional mapping of their values into their lives and arts practices. We will conclude the activity by finding solidarities between the goals of different artists, setting intentions, and making space for collaboration and community support.

Staying Embodied in Our Work
Facilitator: Chetna Mehta
This workshop combines the beauty of breathwork, somatics and mindful compassion to bring us more fully into our bodies, to move and make despite our inner critics, and to create art from an embodied place. Navigating the inner voices of judgment, critique and inadequacy requires our awareness and self-kindness; when we can diligently incorporate mindful breath and movement into our writing practices, we transcend the limitations of a dominating mind and invite the flow, wisdom and spirit of our bodies.

Sustaining Your Practice: Life as a Teaching Artist
Panelists: Maw Shein Win and Preeti Vangani
Join Maw Shein Win and Preeti Vangani as they share about their journeys as poets who write, perform, host– and teach!  From developing and hosting workshops in the community, to navigating academia and teaching at the university level, Maw and Preeti will offer their insights for us to ponder what our pathways may look like as educators and guides in the community.

Sustaining Your Practice: Residencies, Grants, & More
Panelists: Edward Gunawan and Shelley Wong
Join Edward Gunawan and Shelley Wong in conversation as they share about the ways they’ve navigated residencies, grants, community projects, different careers and jobs, and more while supporting themselves as contemporary poets. As we reflect on the opportunities available to us in the Bay and beyond, how may we begin to cultivate a life for ourselves that supports, nurtures, and feeds our creative pursuits?

From Page to Body: How to Read Your Work for Audiences 
Facilitator: Jason Bayani
Becoming a better, more confident reader begins with understanding how the words we write connect to our bodies. In this hour-long workshop, poet and performer, Jason Bayani, will help you find your voice on stage through theatre games, vocal exercises, performance coaching, and a bit of play.


Sabina Kariat (she/they) is a San Francisco-based animator, filmmaker, and educator whose artistic practice uses illustration, animation, co-creation, and anti-racist arts pedagogy as a way to platform stories of marginalized communities, combat the erasure of our community histories with visualization, to ideate radical futures through art, and ultimately to incite action to manifest those visions of equitable futures. She has created animations for films about the 1960’s civil rights movement, the history of Asian American incarceration camps in California, the impact of the criminal justice system on refugees, and loss of native languages among immigrants. Sabina has worked as a teaching artist throughout San Francisco, held co-creation workshops with Adivasi (indigenous) activists in rural Jharkhand India as a Brown University Social Innovation Fellow, and with Syrian-Turkish youth in Istanbul, Turkey as a Fulbright fellow. 

 Chetna Mehta (she/they) is a granddaughter of Indian and South African diasporas. She works and plays as an educating artist, alchemist, facilitator and founder of Mosaiceye Collective, a therapeutic practice with a mission to steward peace, love and freedom on earth via expressive healing arts and reflective community circles. She collaborates with progressive organizations, coalitions, social movements, and changemakers. Chetna holds a BA in Social Sciences from Cal Poly University SLO and a MA in Counseling Psychology from The Wright Institute. She is YT200 trained from a liberation-oriented perspective and continues to develop their training in Non-Violent Communication, Mindful Self-Compassion and Yoga philosophy rooted in decolonization and indigenous wisdom. She is currently living, making and tending on Muwekma Ohlone tribal land, known as San Jose, CA.

  Maw Shein Win‘s (she/her) most recent poetry collection is Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn) which was nominated for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry, longlisted for the PEN America Open Book Award, and shortlisted for CALIBA’s Golden Poppy Award for Poetry. Win’s previous collections include Invisible Gifts and two chapbooks Ruins of a glittering palace and Score and Bone. She is the inaugural poet laureate of El Cerrito, CA and teaches poetry in the MFA Program at the University of San Francisco. Win often collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other writers and was recently selected as a 2023 YBCA 100 Honoree. Along with Dawn Angelicca Barcelona and Mary Volmer, she is a co-founder of Maker, Mentor, Muse, a new literary community. Win’s full-length collection Percussing the Thinking Jar (Omnidawn) is forthcoming in 2024. | Photo credit: Mary Kalin Casey

 Preeti Vangani (she/her)  is an Indian poet & writer based in San Francisco. She is the author of Mother Tongue Apologize (2019), winner of the RLFPA Poetry Prize. Her poems appear/are forthcoming in Poem-a-Day, Threepenny Review, Gulf Coast, Slowdown podcast among several other places. Her debut short story won the 2021 Pen/Dau Emerging Writers Prize. An SFAC Individual Arts Grantee and a YBCA Creative Corps Awardee, she uses her public grants to facilitate poetry workshops rooted in writing grief through joy. Vangani has been a resident at UCross, Djerassi and Ragdale. She currently teaches at University of San Francisco’s MFA (Writing) program.

 Shelley Wong (she/her) is the author of As She Appears (YesYes Books, 2022), winner of a Lambda Literary Award and longlisted for the National Book Award. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and The New Republic. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships, residencies, and support from Kundiman, MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Montalvo Arts Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, Willapa Bay AiR, Vermont Studio Center, I-Park Foundation, Fire Island National Seashore, and SPACE. She has taught at the Ohio State University, Kenyon College, Arizona State University, and University of California at San Francisco, Miami Book Fair, St. Louis Poetry Center, Lavender Phoenix, and The Ruby. | Photo credit: Margarita Corporan

 Edward Gunawan (he/they) is the author of two chapbooks: The Way Back (winner of Start a Riot! Prize, Foglifter Press, 2022) and Press Play (Sweet Lit, 2020). As writer, producer, actor, and/or director, he has completed over 25 feature and short films throughout his 15 year+ career. Other publications include TriQuarterly, Aquifer, and Intimate Strangers anthology (Signal 8, 2020). An Indonesian-born Chinese queer immigrant, Edward now resides on Ohlone land in Oakland, CA where he hosts and curates creative community gatherings. 

 Jason Bayani (he/him) is the author of Locus (Omnidawn Publishing 2019, Norcal Book Award finalist) and Amulet (Write Bloody Publishing 2013). He’s an MFA graduate from Saint Mary’s College, a Kundiman fellow, and is the co-director of Kearny Street Workshop, the oldest multi-disciplinary Asian Pacific American arts organization in the country. His publishing credits include World Literature Today, Lantern Review, and other publications. Jason is the recipient of the 2021 California Arts Council Established artist fellowship and is a featured artist for the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists Festival in 2022. He performs regularly around the country and debuted his solo theater show “Locus of Control” in 2016 with theatrical runs in San Francisco, New York, and Austin.

Our Story

In 2022, with the support of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program, ARTogether and Oakland Art Murmur partnered to pilot an artist mentorship program for Oakland-based refugee and immigrant artists. The program welcomes artists of all crafts, levels, and experiences looking to expand their network, learn new skills, develop their career, and obtain professional guidance. Throughout the program, participants are paired with a mentor artist with compatible interests, artistic craft specialties, experience levels, and/or goals for the mentorship program. 

ARTogether was thrilled to continue this project of intentional community building and culturally relevant professional development  in 2023, through a 3-day intensive program centering gathering, collective power building, and peer connection while providing mentorship, guidance, and professional development led by local, BIPOC artists and art professionals established in the field. 1st and 2nd generation immigrant, refugee, and diasporic artists reflected on their own journeys as artists thus far, identified their goals and needs, and grounded themselves within their values and wishes. Each day included creative exercises, group workshops, and individual coaching sessions. 

Previous instructors in this program included Raeshma Razvi, Kimberley Acebo Arteche, Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen, Rupy Tut, Sabina Kariat, Nivedita Rajendra, Christine No, and others.



Jy Jimmie Flora Gabiola (Photography, Writing)
Valerie Win Liu (Illustration)
Ipeleng Kgositsile (Performance, Writing)
Dalar Alahverdi (Visual Art)
Romina Zabihian (Visual Art)
Arina Sawari-Stadnyk (Visual Art, Writing)


Sunroop Kaur (Visual Art)
Sen Mendez (Visual Art)
Etty Alberto (Visual Art)
Linah Sofi (Visual Art)
Anita Sulimanovic (Visual Art)
René Revolorio Keith (Visual Art)
Jawn Wilson (Visual Artist)
Alisson Gothz (Multidisciplinary)
Juliana Mendonca (Dance)
Ariam Weldeab Araya (Film)

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