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The Arts Mentorship Program (AMP) provides creative guidance, mentorship, and financial support to young and emerging performing artists in the greater Santa Barbara Area. AMP helps artists build physical and emotional confidence and find a healthy outlet for expression. AMP has a unique partnership with the community minded for-profit Santa Barbara Dance Arts, and together we are able to reach over 10,000 residents annually through our core programs: Scholarship Mentor Program, Rent Subsidy Program, and Student Dance Companies. We create opportunities for growth, and access to our new state-of the-art Performing Arts Center. The 9,000 square foot center is a hub for the community and offers 5 studios, a performance space, homework lounge with wifi, café, The Dance Store, and the AMP administrative offices.
The Arts Mentorship Program was founded in 2004 by Alana Tillim and Steven Lovelace. As long-standing members of the artistic community, they envisioned an organization that would address the real struggles that working and aspiring artists face in Santa Barbara. Their programs garnered the attention and support of the now-defunct Redevelopment Agency and they were awarded over $150,000 in grants to build their studio in the Funk Zone. After making meaningful changes in the cultural landscape, Steven and Alana left the Board of Directors, hired staff, and began to formalize an official partnership between SB Dance Arts and the Arts Mentorship Program.
By 2010, the Funk Zone had attracted new tenants to adjacent suites, and it became clear that the landlord was transitioning the property into a traditional office building. Dance Arts and AMP were asked to end their lease early and relocate their studios. Thousands of artists and families needed a new home, and we made the choice to build.
After a careful year-long search, we secured a new home at 531 E. Cota Street which allowed us to build our dream space from the ground up. AMP and Dance Arts legally codified their relationship to make the space the premiere performing arts facility in our community and continue to provide a place where dreams can come true and artists can thrive.