Texas Folklife's Apprenticeship Program fosters the continuity of traditional arts in Texas by providing awards for artist mentors to train apprentices. Each award supports intensive, one-on-one training* for individuals who demonstrate skill for and dedicated commitment to a specific traditional art or cultural practice. If selected, the artist mentor and apprentice (the "artist team") will implement the self-designed and directed work plan proposed in the application. Over the course of the program, Texas Folklife will work with the artist team to document its apprenticeship while offering assistance and support. Each artist team will share the results of its apprenticeship in a final public presentation organized in consultation with Texas Folklife. Since 1987, Texas Folklife has awarded apprenticeships to over 250 artist mentors and apprentices including multiple NEA National Heritage Fellowship recipients.
*Note: The one-on-one, mentor-apprentice model may not fit within the framework of certain artistic traditions such as ensemble-based art forms. In these cases, group apprenticeship proposals will be considered.
For more information on the Apprenticeship Program, please visit texasfolklife.org/apprenticeships.
See below for examples of completed applications and supplemental materials taken from past applicants who received top scores from the review panel. These examples can serve as a guide when preparing an application.
Feedback is always available before submitting an application. Please direct all requests to Program Coordinator Pete Breithaupt by emailing email@example.com or calling the Texas Folklife office at 512-441-9255.
Letter of Support Examples
Q: Are there age requirements for the Apprenticeship Program?
A: No! Both master artists and apprentices alike are open to apply to the program, regardless of age.
Q: How should I answer question “x”/What kind of answer are you looking for question “y”?
A: Examples of top applications can be found above. Applicants are encouraged to submit a draft application for review by the Program Coordinator.
Q: Who is eligible to apply?
A: Anyone living in Texas is eligible to apply either as a master artist or apprentice. Applicants from Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, or New Mexico are eligible to apply, but only as master artists. Apprentices must reside in Texas to be considered for the program.
Q: How often do the master artist and apprentice need to meet?
A: Participants in the apprenticeship program should generally plan to meet 12 to 16 hours per month over a period of 6 to 8 months, or a total of 72 to 128 hours for the entirety of the apprenticeship. Frequency of meetings (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) are up to the discretion of the master artist and apprentice, and should be discussed first before applying.
Potential applicants may also apply for an apprenticeship that is shorter or longer than the proposed apprenticeship above, but should contact the Program Coordinator before applying.
Q: Where do the master artist and apprentice meet? Do I need to be in Austin/travel to Austin in order to participate in the apprenticeship program?
A: The location to meet is completely up to the discretion of the master artist and apprentice. Oftentimes, this will occur at the home, studio, or shop of the master artist or apprentice, but there is no limitation on location of the apprenticeship.
Participants do not need to live in Austin or travel to Austin to participate in the program.
Q: When is the interview with Texas Folklife? What kind of questions will be asked during the interview?
Interviews typically occur about halfway through an apprenticeship. Either the Program Coordinator or another member of the Texas Folklife Staff will travel and meet with the master artist and apprentice; participants are not required to travel to Austin for an interview.
Questions vary depending on the art form studied and the background of participants.
Q: What happens with the interview?
A: After the completion of an interview, the Program Coordinator will often write and submit an article of the apprenticeship to the Texas Folklife website. Interviews made also be used for social media, promotion, and other areas through Texas Folklife.
Q: How are payments made? Who receives payments?
A: Payments are made at three periods through the apprenticeship. These periods are:
-At the signing of contracts by the master artist and apprentice
-At an interview conducted by the Programs & Grants Coordinator or other Texas Folklife Staff
-At the completion of the final performance and submission of the final evaluation report
Q: Can I submit a draft application for review?
A: Yes! Texas Folklife is happy to provide feedback and advice on applications. You are welcome to send draft applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What do I need to submit for the final performance/final evaluation?
A: Participants must submit some form of media of their final performance. Photos, audio, and/or video are all acceptable and can be recorded using smartphones.
Near the end of the apprenticeship, Texas Folklife will send out a short final evaluation for the apprentice to complete and return. Questions will cover what was learned, the process of learning, as well as what apprentices feel was most enjoyable/effective about the program, and ways the program could be improved for the future.
Final evaluations can be completed online, physically, or over the phone through a conversation with the Program Coordinator.