Mentor in Residence

Meet the artists and arts workers offering free mentorship in 2023!

Learn more about the mentors and their offerings before clicking the register button below.


 Emily Gillespie (she/her) is a mad and autistic author, disability activist, and professional daydreamer. Gillespie has a BA in Gender Equality and Social Justice and an MA in Critical Disability Studies. She earned a certificate in Creative Writing from Concordia University. She had volunteered and worked in the disability community as an activist, researcher, and facilitator for over ten years. Gillespie is also an author and performance artist. Her work explores themes of memory, identity and mental health journeys. She enjoys working in community spaces and examining individual and collective experiences as a teacher and mentor. Dancing with Ghosts (Leaping Lion Books, 2017) is her first novel. Her poetry and short-stories can be found in several journals and anthologies. She is currently drafting her second grant funded novel.

Connect with Emily if you want support with:

  • Networking
  • Accessibility & Disability Justice
  • Creative Self-Care
  • Course Planning
  • Facilitation Skills
  • Publishing

*Emily has limited spots available.

 Jenn Paul (she/her) is a highly creative and versatile Producer with experience in film, television, and agency environments. With a specialty in Film Production, Jenn's career spans development, production, post-production, marketing, distribution and exhibition as well as DEIB advocacy. She started her career producing a number of internationally screened short films before working as a Film Marketing and Distribution Manager, travelling across the country with Canadian films and running market test screenings for films such as MAUDIE. She also worked as the Digital Media Supervisor on CBC’s KIM’S CONVENIENCE, before working as a Unit Manager at Bell Media for CTV’s YOUR MORNING, SIDES* on MUCH, and various Branded Content projects with large brands. During her time at Bell Media she also co-founded their first and largest Diversity & Inclusion employee resource group, representing 5000+ employees in all Bell Media offices across Canada. In 2018, she produced the first Canadian-Caribbean Afrofuturist feature film, BROWN GIRL BEGINS, which has screened at 20+ cities internationally and was nominated for two CSA’s including Best Adapted Screenplay. Jenn is a passionate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion advocate, most recently being appointed as ACTRA National's Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.

Connect with Jenn if you:

  • Are considering a career in film, television, marketing, or communications
  • Are Producing your first film and don’t know where to begin
  • Require feedback on scripts or in-progress cuts of your recent film project
  • Are a Board member or employer and want support with implementing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Advocacy in your workplace

*Jenn has limited spots available and is accepting new mentees for June 2023.


Hanan Hazime has a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor.  Hanan's writing has appeared in a number of publications including The Windsor Review, Feckless C*nts: An Anthology of Feminist Writing, and on CBC Arts.  Her first poetry chapbook Aorta was published by ZED Press in 2018. Hanan’s interdisciplinary and visual artwork has been featured in several shows including the 2018 Rendezvous with Madness Festival, the 2021 digital series Talking Back And Together at the AGO, and most recently the 2022 CoMotion festival at the Harbourfront Centre.   

When not writing or creating art, Hanan enjoys reading fantasy and science fiction novels, overanalyzing things, photo-blogging, dancing with faeries in the woods, and drinking copious amounts of tea. IG: @the.mad.muslimah / Website: 

Connect with Hanan if you need support with:

  • Navigating the arts world with mental health issues
  • Education / Advocacy for Mad Arts
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility.
  • Assistance with Creative Writing

Katriina Campitelli (she/her) is the City of Toronto’s Public Art Officer where she is responsible for commissioning artists for new permanent public artworks across the City of Toronto. She is deeply dedicated to developing outstanding and community-centric public art projects, with a focus on creating opportunities for emerging artists. 

In her time with the City of Toronto, she has organized several public space projects including BigArtTO (a series of nighttime projections around the City of Toronto, providing over 200 paid opportunities for emerging artists), and lead the partnership projects for ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022 (organizing over 250 temporary public art interventions). Katriina has over a decade of experience in the arts, including consulting on strategic plans for cultural institutions, working on major international art festivals, administering arts and festival grants, organizing exchanges with Inuit artists and international gallery exhibitions.  

Connect with Katriina if you want support with: 

  • Project Design
  • Professional Network Expansion
  • Evaluation
  • Public Art; Competition Help (RFP/application reviews)

*Katriina is no longer available for mentorship.

 Keosha Love is an award-winning artist, activist and educator who builds spaces for wellness and collection liberation. As a poet and writer, Keosha is notable for centering self-actualization, womanism and joy as rebellion in her work. She closely explores the diverse narratives and identities of Black and racialized people to champion their stories and her culture. In 2016, Keosha founded Our Women's Voices, a Toronto-based non-for-profit focused on amplifying the voices of women and making social change through arts, education and community organizing. With her BA in Psychology and roots in creative arts, Keosha has graced many stages and rooms as a teacher and public speaker, exploring themes of mental health, race and gender advocacy. 

Keosha's work can be found in collaboration with Facebook, Nike, Art Gallery of York University, Never Apart Magazine & more. Her poem "A Prayer for Black Women" has been shared nationally and featured in CBC’s Poetic License. In 2021, Keosha debuted her first mental health series titled Black & Vulnerable also on CBC. Most recently, Keosha was the recipient of the Community Hero Award presented by TFC for her contributions towards her community. Ultimately, Keosha Love is a storyteller and pivotal voice that inspires others to use theirs.

Connect with Keosha if you want support with:

  • Accessibility
  • Communication Skills Improvement
  • Professional Network Expansion 
  • Self-care, Arts Education, Evaluation, Advocacy

 Maggie Hutcheson is a Toronto-based community artist, curator, educator, organizer and consultant. She has worked with a range of arts and culture organizations including the CBC, Jumblies Theatre, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Foundation, MABELLEarts, Arts Etobicoke and the Toronto Ward Museum. Maggie co-founded the longstanding community-engaged art collective ‘Department of Public Memory' and authored the Ontario Arts Council’s handbook on best practices in community-engaged art. She has extensive teaching experience, and holds a PhD from York University, where she focused on site-specific socially engaged art practices. Maggie was the Lead Curator of the Toronto Ward Museum's national Block by Block project in 2017 and the Lead Curator/Program Director of the museum's award winning Block by Block program from 2018-2022. Maggie recently co-founded the Community and Cultural Spaces Trust, an organization dedicated to sustaining affordable spaces for arts and culture in Toronto.

Connect with Maggie if you want support with:

  • Grant Writing, Project Design, Strategic Planning
  • HR, Volunteer Management
  • Communication Skills Improvement
  • Professional Network Expansion 
  • Self-care, Arts Education, Evaluation 
  • Governance, Media, Advocacy

*Maggie is no longer available for mentorship.

 Mahad Shoaib aka “Arxade” is a non-profit leader who loves project management, fundraising, evaluating impact, strategic planning, and building community. As the Development & Learning Manager at Unity Charity, Mahad channels his passion for Hip Hop by managing various portfolios that provide sustainability, growth and learnings to the organization. As a Unity alumnus, he is proud to be in a position to give back to the community.

As a Producer & Composer at Arxade Music, Mahad uses his love for retro video games, movies and synths to build soundscapes, breathe life into visuals, and create music for sync. He attributes much of his skill to the generous mentorship of Fresh Kils - a dear friend and absolute wizard of audio engineering.When he isn’t working on music or community arts, he is usually out on his motorcycle (or fixing it!), dabbling in film photography, or planning his next travel adventure!

Connect with Mahad if you want support with: 

  • Grant Writing, Project Design 
  • Strategic Planning
  • Communication Skills Improvement 
  • Evaluation

 Mariam Zaidi is a filmmaker, film programmer, and arts leader based in Toronto, Canada.

Alongside her independent film and arts leadership work, Zaidi is also an International Programmer at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and an Associate Programmer at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.




Connect with Mariam if you want support with:

  • Grant Writing, Project Design, Strategic Planning
  • Volunteer Management
  • Communication Skills Improvement
  • Professional Network Expansion 
  • Self-care, Arts Education, Media

 Marina Fathalla is an artist and currently the Director of Programming at Whippersnapper Gallery. She grew up in Mississauga alongside the Credit River on the unceded ancestral territories of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabeg and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Guided by the unseen, or what is just beneath the surface, she’s currently exploring dormancy, the mystical and ritual through textiles, writing and movement. She finds the most joy in creating programming that is site, group and community-responsive and supporting emerging artists to grow their practice. 

Connect with Marina if you want support with:

  • Grant Writing, Project Design, Strategic Planning
  • Professional Network Expansion, Self-care, Arts Education, Evaluation
  • Artist statement and proposal writing
  • Programming(public and community engagement)
  • Using databases and organization tools (ex: Notion): this can include personalized project design/balancing between projects etc.

 Mary Anne (Mare) Garcia (she/her) is a Canadian Filipinx product/furniture designer and creative director behind Space Queen Studio - a Toronto-based home goods studio where cute 'n kitschy meets pop culture but with a succulent green twist. Garcia’s creative practice is guided by her fascination with building, experimentation, and material exploration.

She is a recipient of COFO design’s inaugural furniture design challenge, and an advocate of slow and ethical design. Her work looks to transform ordinary interactions through playfulness and greenery.



Connect with Mary Anne if you want support with:

  • Portfolio consultations for review or feedback
  • How to craft your bio and artist statement
  • Fundamentals on presenting a strong portfolio for education, employment, and grants
  • How to write about your creative work

*Mary Anne has limited mentorship spots availble.

 Su-Ying Lee is an independent curator and has also worked in institutions as Assistant Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), Curator in Residence at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, and Assistant Curator at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. She received a Masters Degree in Curatorial Studies at the University of Toronto and is an alumnus of the Toronto Arts Council/Banff Centre’s Cultural Leaders’ Lab.

Her projects have taken place across Canada, in Hong Kong, Mexico City and Quezon City (Metro Manila, Philippines). She writes creative non-fiction and social criticism. 


Connect with Su-Ying if you want support with:

  • Understanding gallery systems; identifying opportunities and understanding whether opportunities are a good fit
  • Research as part of one's practice
  • Curatorial strategies
  • How to communicate with colleagues, organizations, curators and others
  • How to ask for and conduct a studio visit
  • Exhibition strategies for artists, curators and organizers; 
  • Collective work; how to put together a proposal package; and more

*Su-Ying is no longer available for mentorship.

 Vanessa Dion Fletcher is a Lenape and Potawatomi neurodiverse Artist; her family is from Eelūnaapèewii Lahkèewiitt (displaced from Lenapehoking) and European settlers. She uses porcupine quills, Wampum belts, and menstrual blood to reveal the complexities of what defines a body physically and culturally. Reflecting on an Indigenous and gendered body with a neurodiverse mind, Dion Fletcher primarily works in performance, textiles and video. 

She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 with an MFA in performance and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University in 2009. She has exhibited across Canada and the USA at Art Mur Montreal, Eastern Edge Gallery Newfoundland, The Queer Arts Festival Vancouver and the Satellite Art show in Miami. Her work is in the Indigenous Art Centre, Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection, Vtape, Seneca College, Global Affairs Canada and the Archives of American Art.

Connect with Vanessa if you want support with: 

  • Grant Writing 
  • Project Design 
  • Accessibility
  • Communication Skills Improvemen

 Zarita is a Kenyan arts manager, crafts educator, socio-cultural entrepreneur and creative leader whose heart beats for holistic development of artists and the communities they create in. Zarita has worked in the arts sector in Kenya and Canada producing projects centered on self expression, social integration, and cultural celebration. 

Her work is grounded in creating barrier-free spaces where everyone can explore the artist in them. In Toronto, she has worked with organizations like Jamii Esplanade, Arts Etobicoke, Lakeshore Arts, Afghan Women Association, Newcomer Women Toronto, CultureLink Settlement. In Kenya she founded Sekoya East Africa, an arts organization building capacity among craft artists. She was spotlighted in ArtworxTO - City of Toronto Year of Public Art 2022 - for producing Sekoya Magazine, an E.African crafts publication. Zarita enjoys supporting the creative industry as mentor, consultant, art juror and speaker. It is her delight to join NAN as a mentor in residence! 

Connect with Zarita if you want support with:

  • Project Design, Strategic Planning
  • Volunteer Management, Communication Skills Improvement
  • Professional Network Expansion, Self-care, Arts Education,  Evaluation, Advocacy
  • Marketing and outreach strategy, social media management, portfolio development


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