Reaching Forward

The Basics

Reaching Forward is a youth employment program for those advanced students interested in developing their skill as peer leaders and teaching artists. Mentors participate in an array of training, and with support from professional teaching artists, serve as peer leaders working directly with youth. Training and professional development take place throughout the program. School Year Mentors are employed up to 10 hours per week, working directly with Art Reach and as teaching artist assistants for school vacation week workshops. Summer Mentors are employed up to 15 hours per week as Mentors and teaching artist assistants in Little Artists and community-based workshops.

The Details

Reaching Forward is a work-based learning youth employment program, in which Mentors have the opportunity to develop their skills as peer leaders, artists, and community-members. Advised and supported by PAAM Education staff and professional teaching artists, Mentors gain valuable insight into a career in the arts and education while receiving a fair and meaningful wage. Working independently and collaboratively throughout the program, Mentors attend Friday afternoon workshops, in which they focus on building their skills and capacities in mentorship, leadership, artistry and college and career readiness.

In tandem with Art Reach, Mentors spend their Saturday mornings developing and creating their own art projects in various mediums and disciplines, directly support younger artists participating in Art Reach, and engaging in the museum practice of curating and exhibiting their works of art. As a multidisciplinary program, Reaching Forward explores the connectivity of art to everyday life, providing engagement in art history, media, humanities, professional development and career opportunities. All Reaching Forward Mentors are required to sit on PAAM Education’s Youth Advisory Council, where they play a key role in the planning of Education programming and events.

2020-2021 program overview

All fall semester programs will occur remotely. We will continuously evaluate a move towards hybrid, and eventually, in-person learning back here in our Museum School Studios.


AGES 16-22 | FRIDAYS | 4-6:30PM | REGISTER

Semester One: October 2nd – December 12th, 2020 (10 weeks) *no session November 28th

Semester Two: January 8th – March 20th, 2021 (10 weeks) *no session February 20th

Application Process


All individuals interested in working as a Reaching Forward Mentor must complete an initial application. This can be done online, by downloading the application form and emailing or mailing it to Tessa (, 460 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657), or by requesting a paper application.


Once your application is received, you will be contacted by Tessa to further assess your interest in the program and schedule an interview.


Once the interview is completed, Tessa will determine your placement in the program; you will either receive an offer for employment or a position on our waitlist for a future date.


Reaching Forward runs over two semesters, however, you may apply for only one (although participation in both is highly encouraged). If you apply at the top of the program year and are accepted, you do not need to apply again for the second semester. Finally, attendance for Reaching Forward is very important, particularly as it is your employment. If you anticipate being unable to commit fully to the program, or are concerned about anticipated absences, please notate them in the appropriate space on the application form. Any questions? Contact Tessa at, 508.487.1750 x13.

PAAM’s youth programs are supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod; the National Endowment for the Arts; Ted Jones and Peter Petas; the Aeroflex Foundation; an anonymous donor; The Bilezikian Family Foundation; and Stop & Shop Provincetown, in memory of John Michael Gray. PAAM collaborates with the Provincetown, Nauset, and Monomoy School Districts, Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School, Cape Cod Regional Technical School, and Cape Cod Community College to provide accessible, creative education programs of the highest caliber.