Mentor Artist Playwriting Project shapes next generation of writers


Celebrities were sighted in Lapwai Friday, but they weren't hiding out from the paparazzi. They were at Lapwai High School with a message for students, about the importance of following their dreams.

Thomas Dean Kellogg started the Mentor Artist Playwriting Project... And brought it to Lapwai almost 10 years ago. "I bring actors and writers and community members together to do a mentored play writing project," said Kellogg. The idea is to bring the creative side out of students and teach them through workshops the basics of play writing. "From the workshops young people write plays and then we come back and perform those plays with professional actors that I bring into the community."

One of the professional actors who participates, is Valente Rodriguez. He's been on TV in shows like the George Lopez Show, Happily Divorced and the most recently the movie Mcfarland USA. "I had no consciousness that I could be an actor, that's the kind of world that I grew up in," said Valente. He credits teachers who pushed him to pursue his dreams for this success.

Now he is involved with this program to hopefully make that change in others’ lives. "To think that you could be that sort of influence that you could change that person's life that much to open the world up to them is pretty inspiring."

The program helps teach students to follow their dreams. "Your story matters. And start at this point so as you move through education so when you're in your 20s and your 30s you can make that impact we're looking for,” said Kellogg

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