BIG NEWS: Statera's National Mentorship Program Launches TODAY!

Today, Statera is officially launching our
National Mentorship Program!

Mentorship is at the core of Statera's mission of taking positive action to bring women into full and equal participation in the arts. After 18 months of beta-testing and refining our regional mentorship program in Chicago, the Statera Team is ready for a national launch! 


Establishing the Statera Mentorship Program in your community is an incredibly rewarding and exciting endeavor! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Statera has created materials and resources that will equip you with the tools you will need to create a lasting and successful program. You’ll have access to organizational systems, email templates, the Mentorship Program Field Guide, and face-time with Statera’s National Co-Directors. 

Do you love connecting people? Are you an organized person who is a part of a community of artists? Do you know others in your community who are excited to partner with you to create a grassroots mentorship program? If this sounds like you, then Statera invites you to step into the center of your vision and join us

Your leadership is vitally important to the growth and development of this program. We know that there will be questions along the way and we want you to know that we are here for you. 

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The Statera Mentorship Program is fantastic - both because my mentor has been such a steady and inspirational person and because it was amazing to feel a sense community with so many artists who come from different backgrounds. We are all out there hustling, and knowing I'm not alone makes the every-day struggles so much easier to handle. - Alison Plott, Actor: CHICAGO

Having worked as a professional actress in Chicago for the past 30 years, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to give back and help women in the business, as there was nothing like this when I was starting out.  Not only has it been an intensely rewarding experience to help my mentee in all areas of Chicago theatre I discovered the wealth of knowledge I have attained over the years and the immense value of it.  - Lia Mortensen, Actor: CHICAGO

Statera’s National Mentorship Co-Directors: Minita Gandhi (top) and Erika Haaland (bottom)

Statera’s National Mentorship Co-Directors: Minita Gandhi (top) and Erika Haaland (bottom)

History of the Statera Mentorship Program

The Statera Mentorship Program officially began in January of 2016 and has been at the core of Statera’s programming ever since. The Mentorship Program was designed for theatre practitioners who identify as women and are interested in moving beyond the very real obstacles that sometimes lie between our goals and our opportunities. Statera believes that the most effective way to grow, expand and manifest change is to work together. A flourishing mentor relationship helps both mentor and mentee organize their professional challenges, nurture their creative ideas and activate their personal gifts. 

Statera’s original executive team (Melinda Pfundstein,Shelly Gaza, andSarah Greenman) built the first incarnation of the program with the help ofJennifer Tuttle, who ran the national program until November 2016. While the program was very successful, Statera quickly realized they needed a larger dedicated team to run the program effectively. It was also clear that a scaled-back program with more structure would better suit the needs of the program participants.

In January of 2017, just a year after the launch of the initial program, Statera partnered with Chicago-based theatre artistsErika Haaland and Minita Gandhi (pictured above) to build and beta-test a Chicago regional mentorship program. The new model offers mentors and mentees a structured 6-month cycle that includes local mentorship gatherings for workshops, networking, panel discussions, keynotes, and more. The Chicago program is currently running its third class of mentor pairings and has served over 200 women to date. The innovations provided by the Chicago team now make up the template for our national program.

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Become a Mentor or Mentee

Statera's Mentorship Program is currently operating in two regions:Chicago and North Carolina. A third and fourth are slated for 2019 (details coming soon). This effort is being led by region-based theatre artists, equity advocates, and business-minded women. 

If you are a Chicago or North Carolina-based theatre artist interested in engaging as a mentor or mentee in this unique program, please sign up by clicking on a region below. The next Chicago mentorship class is enrolling today through October 8th, with an official start date of November 1st. If you're in North Carolina, sign up to be notified about our next mentorship phase. We will be opening it up to other regions very soon!

We'd love to hear from you! 

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to our National Mentorship Co-Directors directly a We look forward to talking with you!