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2018 Apprenticeship Program Awards Announced



Sheree Scarborough

(512) 922-5483,



“Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts” AWARDEES 

Texas Folklife awards up to $2,500 for Apprentices to train with Master Artists 

in the Folk and Traditional Arts of Texas


Ten Master and Apprentice Pairs Named


Austin, Texas – January 17, 2018 – Texas Folklife is pleased to announce this year’s awardees for the “Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts” program. The Apprenticeship Program encourages the continuation of traditional arts in Texas by providing awards to master artists to train apprentices. The awards compensate the master artist for his or her time and training, and to help offset the costs of travel and supplies. 


Apprentices were selected by an application process and vetted through a panel of folklorists, arts administrators, and former Apprenticeship Program participating artists. Ten pairs of master artist and apprentices in a variety of disciplines were chosen. The awardees are: 


•Master Joey McKenzie (Burleson) and apprentice Ridge Roberts (Granbury) in the art of Texas Old-Time Fiddling & Western Swing; 

•Master Felipe Perez (San Antonio) and apprentice Lorenzo Martinez (San Antonio) in the art of the accordion tuning & repair;

•Master Leland Hensley (Meridian) and apprentice Clint Haverty (Krum) in the art of rawhide braiding; 

•Master Skip Edwards (Eagle Pass) and apprentice Jose de la Garza (Eagle Pass) in the art of silversmithing; 

•Master Gary Dunshee (Alpine) and apprentice Carlos Martinez (Alpine) in the art of custom saddlemaking;

•Master Mike Vaughn (Bowie) and apprentice Christopher Bodkins (Mannsville, Oklahoma) in the art of custom cowboy boots;

•Master Shirley Johnson (Austin) and apprentice Ariana Bina (Austin) in the art of polka accordion;

•Master Jayson Jones (Quanah) and apprentice Jaydon Jones (Quanah) in the art of custom spur making;

•Master Tim Wooten (Cypress Mill) and apprentice Alexa Bender (Manchaca) in the art of Texas Old-Time Fiddling;

•and Master Federico Longoria (Los Fresnos) and apprentice Juan Longoria III (Brownsville) in the art of bajo sexto playing.


Texas Folklife's Apprenticeships in the Folk Arts program encourages the continuation of Texas's traditional arts through support for master artists to train qualified apprentices. The apprenticeship program allows an apprentice to devote themselves to improve and refine their craft under the direction of an experienced master artist over a period of several months. This provides the opportunity for the apprentice to continue their craft at a higher level, which they can, in turn, teach to others. Texas Folklife documents each apprenticeship pair in their place of work, and shares audio, video, and photos from these sessions on the organization’s website and social media channels. Additionally, awardees participate in one public presentation of their traditional art form at the conclusion of the apprenticeship training, in consultation with Texas Folklife.


Texas Folklife’s Apprenticeship Program began in 1987 and has supported the training of hundreds of folk and traditional artists statewide over three decades. After a few years of relative dormancy, the program was revived in 2015 thanks to a State Partnership Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, in conjunction with the Texas Commission on the Arts. This year’s master and apprentice pairs run the gamut of traditional arts from Texas Old-Time Fiddling and bajo sexto to custom spur making. The masters and apprentices come from all over the state, including cities such as Brownsville, Austin, and San Antonio; and towns such as Alpine, Quanah, and Bowie.  


“The Apprenticeship Program is crucial to our mission at Texas Folklife,” said Executive Director Charlie Lockwood. “This is one of the primary ways we help maintain the transmission of traditional arts across our state and across generations. We are thrilled to support several artists from diverse geographic regions of the state this year, including west Texas, the Panhandle, and the Rio Grande Valley. Thanks to our partnerships with the NEA, TCA, local arts organizations, community groups and community-based small businesses across Texas, we were able to share this opportunity with a wide variety of artists who illustrate mastery in a variety of traditions.”


This program is made possible with support from the board and members of Texas Folklife, and by a State Partnership award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, in partnership with the Texas Commission on the Arts. Additional support provided by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. 


About Texas Folklife

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. Since 1984, Texas Folklife has honored cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences. 


1708 Houston St.

Austin, Texas 78756

T (512) 441-9255

F (844) 386-2091

Media information: Sheree Scarborough (512) 922-5483 /


Apprenticeship Program information: Ian Hallagan (512) 441-9255 /