The Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance’s (NIAA) Youth Art Mentorship is a two-phase program. The first phase takes youth to the annual Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM) in Bar Harbor, Maine, where they will begin a mentorship with a community artist that focuses on learning and gaining knowledge in their tribe’s Narragansett traditional arts. The goal is to perpetuate artistic practice amongst the tribe’s youth. Phase two continues the youth mentorship with a community conservationist in the Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative (NFSI) project. The NFSI project will teach youth the history and origins of their traditional foods, and how to plant and harvest these foods. The mentorship comes full circle by teaching youth how to manage naturally resourced materials—from harvesting to preparation—in order to create traditional arts, reflecting back to the art market that they experienced at the beginning of their program.
NIAA is a regional grassroots-arts organization working to support Indigenous art and artists in the region. Over the past few years, NIAA has focused their efforts on building the organization while continuing to provide opportunities for artists.