AllArtNew York

Brooklyn Academy of Music Hosts Rolex Arts Initiative Event

In 2002, Rolex initiated a unique program that brings together art professionals from all over the world. This past Friday, the Brooklyn Academy of Music hosted the culmination of the current Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative cycle and the commencement of the next cycle.

The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative offers budding artists a chance to learn firsthand from experienced leaders in their respective industries. In the program, young artists from an array of fields are paired with mentors for a two-year collaborative experience. Leading personalities in film, music, dance, theatre, architecture, and more, who wish to assume the role of mentor, submit their desired characteristics of an ideal protégé. After a carefully tailored nomination and selection process, the participating protégés are chosen, and the pairs are matched.

On Friday, the Brooklyn Academy of Music presented the Rolex Arts Weekend. The special event featured two days of performances, exhibitions, and conversations open for the public in honor of the conclusion of the latest two-year Rolex Arts Initiative cycle. Mentors in the most recent cycle included Spike Lee, Phyllida Lloyd, Carrie Mae Weems, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Newly recruited mentors for the coming cycle were announced, and include El Anatsui, Bernardine Evaristo, Jia Zhangke, Anne Lacaton, and Dianne Reeves – bringing together top international talent in various disciplines.

Rebecca Irvin, head of the Rolex mentoring program, proudly asserted that the incoming mentors and protégés include individuals “from nine different countries in Asia, Africa, North America, Europe and the Middle East. And their artistic work reflects many of the most pressing issues of our day, including sustainability, diversity and social change.”

As a multi-arts center located in New York, a city famous for its diversity and talent, the Brooklyn Academy of Music seemed a fitting choice to host this event. Those involved in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative eagerly await to see the talent that brews as the new two-year cycle kicks off.


With a Bachelor's in Microbiology and a Master's in Virology, Rena can tell us about the world of science and technology with expertise and pizzazz hard to match anywhere. Whatever Brooklyn has to offer when it comes to science, Rena will be there. Find Rena at rena(at)