Ghanaian-born visual artist El Anatsui, British writer Bernardine Evaristo, Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke, French architect Anne Lacaton and American jazz singer Dianne Reeves are the new mentors in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, a program launched by Rolex was established in 2002 to nurture new generations of outstanding talent.

The names of the new mentors and their protégés, who will work together for two years, were announced Friday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where the Arts Initiative is celebrating the culmination of its current program cycle. This cycle featured Lin-Manuel Miranda, the first mentor in a recently added open category that includes multidisciplinary artists.

The protégés are architect Arine Aprahamian, writer Ayesha Harruna Attah, visual artist Bronwyn Katz, filmmaker Rafael Manuel and singer-songwriter Song Yi Jeon. In addition to travel and expenses, the protégés each receive a grant of around 41,000 US dollars.

The new group of mentors and protégés hail “from nine different countries in Asia, Africa, North America, Europe and the Middle East,” said Rebecca Irvin, Rolex’s head of philanthropy, in an email. “And her artistic work reflects many of the most pressing issues of our time, including sustainability, diversity and social change.”

Evaristo, who wrote in a statement that she had mentored the program “since Toni Morrison 20 years ago,” said that the “very close and personal attention” the mentee receives was very different from attending workshops or the writing courses. “It could also include career advice and personal development, as well as opening up conversations about creativity and society, and drawing inspiration from other art forms,” ​​she said.

Twenty years after its inception, the Arts Initiative, which uses influential advisors to select mentors and protégés, now has a bold list of alumni including David Adjaye, Alfonso Cuarón, Brian Eno, Lara Foot, Stephen Frears, Nicholas Hlobo, David Hockney , Joan Jonas, Anish Kapoor, Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Crystal Pite, and Tracy K Smith.