(article) Apprenticeship in the Folk & Traditional Arts Program



2018 Program Guidelines and Application (Fillable PDF)

2018 Program Guidelines and Application (For Print)

Texas Folklife’s Apprenticeship in the Folk Arts program encourages the continuation of traditional arts in Texas by providing up to $2,500 awards to master artists to train apprentices. This award will compensate the master artist for his or her time and training; a specified amount may also be used to help offset the costs of travel and supplies.  Successful applicants will participate in one public presentation of their traditional art form in consultation with Texas Folklife.

Texas Folklife welcomes applications from all traditions in the Lone Star State. In the past Texas Folklife has awarded apprenticeships to a diverse selection of practices, including everything from lute-making and horse saddlery to South Indian vocal music and West African dance.  The organization does, however, specialize in the accordion-based musical traditions found in the state of Texas. For that reason, special consideration will be given to Polka and Zydeco applicants.

Application Deadline: Friday, November 17, 2017 at 5:00pm

For more information, please contact:
Ian Hallagan, Texas Folklife Apprenticeships Program Coordinator
(512) 441-9255

View The 2016 Apprenticeship Program Participants

Program Overview:
Texas Folklife's Apprenticeships in the Folk Arts program encourages the continuation of Texas' traditional arts by providing grants to master artists for the training of qualified apprentices.  The Apprenticeship Program connects master artists to skilled apprentices who receive training in a traditional art form. Teaching an apprentice gives the master artist the opportunity to refine his craft and gives the apprentice a chance to learn an art form that they, in turn, can teach others. Apprenticeships breathe life into the traditional arts and foster the continuation of that art form. 

Traditional arts, also called the folk arts, are those art forms practiced by a group of people with a common learning experience. The folk arts are learned informally and are often passed on from generation to generation.

A master artist is usually a person who has spent most of his life learning and practicing a traditional art form. Qualified apprentices are people who are somewhat skilled in the same art form.

For centuries, skills and trades have been passed down from master craftsmen to apprentices who work under their supervision. By relegating the more basic tasks to the apprentice, the master craftsman could concentrate on further refining his or her art while increasing production. The apprentice learned not only the craft, but also how to teach it to his/her own apprentices. This time-honored system assures the perpetuation of these skills through successive generations and preserves specific aspects of folk culture.

This program is made possible in part from a State Partnership award from the National Endowment from the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, in partnership with the Texas Commission on the Arts.