David Adjaye and Colm Toibin Among New Mentors in Rolex Program

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David Adjaye, the architect who designed the the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, will be one of four mentors in the two-year program. Credit Justin T. Gellerson for The New York Times

BERLIN — The architect David Adjaye, the musician and composer Zakir Hussain, the choreographer Crystal Pite and the author Colm Toibin are the new mentors in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, which pairs distinguished cultural figures with emerging artists in their fields. The names of the new mentors, and of their protégés, were announced in a public ceremony on Monday at the Staatsoper here.

Rolex also announced that funding will be increased to allow some changes to the Arts Initiative, which began in 2002. It now has a major-name roster of mentor and protégé alumni, including David Chipperfield, Anish Kapoor, Mira Nair, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alexei Ratmansky, Robert Wilson, Jessye Norman, Pico Iyer, Margaret Drabble, Nicholas Hlobo and David Aaron Carpenter.

The initiative has until now created yearlong pairings in seven fields: architecture, dance, film, literature, visual arts, music and theater. Starting in 2018, the program will expand to eight disciplines, but offer four at a time, each taking place over two years. Architecture, music, dance and literature will be the 2018-19 focus, while film, theater, visual arts and a “wild card” eighth discipline will run through 2020-21.

“We’ve realized after observing this for many years now that in many disciplines, the mentors and protégés needed more time together,” said Rebecca Irvin, the head of philanthropy at Rolex, in an interview. “It felt like they barely got going before it was over.” Ms. Irvin added that the rigorous and time-consuming selection process for the protégés meant that finding the final seven candidates for each cycle “felt like a rush.”

The eighth discipline “could be design, cooking, photography or a multidisciplinary form,” Ms. Irvin said. “It gives us the flexibility to be more experimental.”

The program, which began in 2002, asks the mentor and protégé to spend at least six weeks together during the mentoring period. The protégés — this year Mariam Kamara (architecture), Khoudia Touré (dance), Colin Barrett (literature) and Marcus Gilmore (music) — must be professionals in each field. They each receive a stipend of 40,000 Swiss francs ($42,900) in addition to funds for travel and expenses. At the end of the mentoring period, each becomes a fellow of the Arts Initiative and is eligible for a further 30,000 Swiss francs ($32,300) for future projects, as well as additional funds for collaborative projects with other Arts Initiative fellows.

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