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2022 Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts Awardees

Texas Folklife is proud to announce the 2022 Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts Program awardees. The Apprenticeship Program fosters the continuity of Texas' traditional arts through mentorship, artist development, and organizational support. Mentors and apprentices from across the region were chosen from a number of highly qualified applicants through a rigorous panel review process. From South Indian veena and Chinese erhu performance, conjunto accordion tuning and playing, western swing guitar and flamenco, cartonería and comida casera, and Native American storytelling, the selected artist teams represent the diversity of Texas's folk art traditions.

Since 1987, Texas Folklife's Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts Program has supported hundreds of folk and traditional artists' training statewide. Traditional arts, or folk arts. are those art forms practiced by a group of people with a shared learning experience. Both the artist mentor and the apprentice are awarded the time and resources necessary to devote themselves to their craft, thus ensuring that these vital traditional arts are passed on to new generations of Texans.

This year, Texas Folklife will award nine mentor-and-apprentice artist teams $3,000. Alongside conducting virtual site visits/interviews, Texas Folklife will work with the artists to document their apprenticeship, supporting them as they capture their work together through photography, video recording, and other means of creative virtual documentation. This (self-)documentation will be shared on Texas Folklife's digital channels throughout the year. The artist teams will also participate in public showcases of their work across the state in late Summer 2022. To this end, many of the artists will participate in Texas Folklife's third annual Apprenticeship Program Virtual Showcase in early August. Watch the 2020 and 2021 virtual showcases on Texas Folklife's Apprenticeship Program playlist on YouTube.

From NEA National Heritage Fellows, internationally renowned artists, and critically lauded performers to young and established culture bearers dedicated to breathing new life into their art forms, the 2022 Apprenticeship Program features an impressive roster of mentors and apprentices committed to keeping their communities and art forms creatively resilient.

2022 Texas Folklife Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts Awardees

  • Mentor Daniel Chen (McKinney) and apprentice Eric Wang (McKinney) in the art of Chinese erhu performance
  • Mentor Felipe Perez (San Antonio) and apprentice Bernabe Perez (San Antonio) in the art of accordion tuning
  • Mentor Jesús Muñoz (Albuquerque) and apprentice Andrea González (Sugar Land) in the art of flamenco
  • Mentor Juan Longoria, Jr. (Brownsville) and apprentice Manuel Tovar (Brownsville) in the art of conjunto accordion
  • Mentor Rajeswari Pariti (Argyle) and apprentice Vishnu Dokka (Austin) in the art of Carnatic veena performance
  • Mentor Rocío Ramírez-Landoll (Waco) and apprentice Diane Torres (Waco) in the art of cartonería
  • Mentor Veronica Castillo (San Antonio) and apprentice Rosie Torres (San Antonio) in the arts of ceramics and comida casera
  • Mentor Whit Smith (Austin) and apprentice Ian Lee (Wimberley) in the art of western swing guitar
  • Mentor Xelena González (San Antonio) and apprentice Excy Guardado (San Antonio) in the art of Native American storytelling


See an interactive map representing the locations of Apprenticeship Program participants since 2016 here


The Texas Folklife Apprenticeship Program is made possible by a State Partnership Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Texas Commission on the Arts and support from the board and members of Texas Folklife. Additional support is provided by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and folk and traditional arts partners across Texas.



Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. The National Endowment for the Arts designates Texas Folklife as the official folk and traditional arts organization for the state. Since 1984, Texas Folklife has honored traditions passed down within communities, explored the importance of traditional arts in contemporary society and celebrated the state’s vibrant heritage by providing arts experiences enjoyable and accessible for all generations. For more information, visit



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Photo Captions:

2022 Texas Folklife Apprenticeship Program Artist Mentors. Left to right, starting from the upper left: Felipe Perez, Veronica Castillo, Daniel Chen, Rajeswari Pariti, Jesús Muñoz, Xelena González, Whit Smith, Rocío Ramírez-Landoll, Juan Longoria, Jr.

2022 Texas Folklife Apprenticeship Program Apprentices. Left to right, starting from the upper left: Bernabe Perez, Rosie Torres, Eric Wang, Vishnu Dokka, Andrea González, Excy Guardado, Ian Lee, Diane Torres, and Manuel Tovar.