Four of the world’s most distinguished artists − Sir David Adjaye (architecture), Zakir Hussain (music), Crystal Pite (dance) and Colm Toíbín (literature) − have each chosen an outstanding young talent for a period of creative exchange and personal inspiration, made possible through the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

The multidisciplinary philanthropic programme, established by Rolex, seeks out highly talented artists in the early stages of their careers and brings them together with recognized leaders in their fields for a year or more of open-ended collaboration, so that artistry at the highest level can be transmitted across the generations.

In the mentoring period that spans 2018 and 2019, Ghana-born British architect David Adjaye has chosen to work with Mariam Kamara, 38, Niger; Indian musician Zakir Hussain with Marcus Gilmore, 31, United States; Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite with Khoudia Touré, 31, Senegal; and New York-based Irish writer Colm Toíbín with Colin Barrett, 35, Ireland. The mentor-protégé pairs are free within this period to schedule their times and places of interaction according to their particular needs.

Rolex announced the new mentors and protégés at a public ceremony in Berlin celebrating the completion of the 2016−2017 mentoring year, the 15th anniversary of the programme.


 “The artists who have so generously agreed to participate as mentors in the 2018−2019 Rolex Arts Initiative have influenced their disciplines profoundly and are held in the highest esteem by the public and their peers. They now join a community of internationally acclaimed artists who have taken the opportunity through Rolex to pass on their passion and expertise. We extend our congratulations to the highly accomplished younger artists who have been chosen by the mentors.” -  Rebecca Irvin, Head of Philanthropy at Rolex