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Texas Folklife Announces 2020 Apprenticeships in the folk and Traditional Arts Awardees

Clockwise, from left: 2020 master Yuxin Mei; 2020 Master Thanmayee Krishnamruthy; 2020 Master Mike Beumel; and 2020 Master Gideon Alorwoyie.


Eight Master and Apprentice Pairs Awarded $3,000 An Array of Traditional Art Forms Represented – from Pingelap Stick Dancing to Conjunto Accordion Playing AUSTIN (JAN. 2020) – Texas Folklife announces the 2020 Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts program awardees. The prestigious apprenticeship program supports the continuation of Texas traditional arts through mentorship, artist development and organizational support. Master artists and apprentices from across the region were chosen through a rigorous peer panel process and the pairs represent a broad range of arts – from chair weaving & caning to Chinese Silk Bamboo Ensemble. 

This year, each apprenticeship pair will be awarded $3,000. Each apprenticeship pair will be documented through audio interviews, photography, and video. Documentation will be shared on the Texas Folklife digital channels throughout the year. The selected artists will also participate in a public showcase of their work across the state in late 2020, in which the apprentice demonstrates skills and techniques learned during the apprenticeship period.

The 2020 apprenticeship program features an array of art forms that have not been previously represented including, Togo Atsia (Traditional dance by the Ewe people of Ghana), chair caning & weaving, Chinese Silk Bamboo Ensemble, and cowboy art in pen and pencil. Additional program highlights include: Master artist, Mike Beumel, who will be teaching his son, Tyler Beumel, the art of chair caning and weaving, carrying on a family tradition. Since 1987, the Texas Folklife Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts program has supported the training of hundreds of folk and traditional artists statewide.

Traditional arts, or folk arts, are those art forms practiced by a group of people with a shared learning experience. Both the master artist 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. “The Apprenticeship Program is crucial to our mission at Texas Folklife,” says 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. In addition to supporting this apprenticeship training, we hope to build long term relationships with the master artists and apprentices in order to strengthen other Texas Folklife programs and initiatives. As community leaders and devoted stewards of tradition, our Apprenticeship Program artists are key to engaging and supporting a wide variety of communities and folk and traditional arts practices. Thanks to our partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, local arts organizations, community groups and community-based small businesses across Texas, we were able to share this opportunity with a wide array of artists who illustrate mastery in a variety of traditions.”

2020 Texas Folklife Apprenticeships in the Folk and Traditional Arts Awardees

• Master Gideon Alorwoyie (Denton) and apprentice Shani Sterling (Houston) in the art of Togo Atsia
• Master Midge Jackson (Tyler) and apprentice Carol Schuler (Tyler) in the art of Handweaving (Fiber Arts)
• Master Mike Beumel (Livingston) and apprentice Tyler Beumel (Livingston) in the art of chair caning and weaving
• Master Mike Capron (Sheffield) and apprentice Gage Choate (Alpine) in the art of cowboy art in pen and pencil
• Master Mike Vaughn (Bowie) and apprentice Jeff Moore (Haslet) in the art of custom cowboy boots
• Master Thanmayee Krishnamurthy (Denton) and apprentice Srinidhi Kaushik (Irving) in the art of Indian Carnatic Music
• Master Tomasita Lignons (Austin) and apprentice Jennifer Steverson (Austin) in the art of quilting
• Master Yuxin Mei (Denton) and apprentices Weiping Lu, Min Xie, Mae Gao, Alexander Strader (Frisco) in the art of Chinese Bamboo Silk Ensemble

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 City of Austin the Cultural Arts Division.


Texas Folklife (TXF) is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. TXF is designated by the National Endowment for the Arts as the official folk and traditional arts organization for the state. Since 1984, the TXF 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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MEDIA CONTACT Krissi Reeves / High Kick PR / / 512-659-1385

Program Contact Ian Hallagan / / 512-441-9255