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Texas Folklife Awarded $84,000 in National Endowment for the Arts Funding




Sheree Scarborough

(512) 922-5483,


More Than $82 Million Awarded for Arts Projects Nationwide

 Includes $84,000 awarded to Texas Folklife for Stories from Deep in the Heart and the Apprenticeship Program



Austin, Texas – May 10, 2016 – National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $84,000 to Texas Folklife for continuation of two of programs—Stories from Deep in the Heart and the Apprenticeship Program. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like these from Texas Folklife offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

Apprenticeship Program

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.

Since 1987, Texas Folklife has worked with over 70 master artist and apprentice pairs through this foundational folk arts program, helping to ensure the continuation of vital Texas traditions. The longstanding program was brought back to life last year thanks in part to support from a National Endowment for the Arts Partnership Award with the Texas Commission for the Arts. Currently there are ten pairs of master artists and apprentices working together throughout the state to pass tradition from one generation to the next.


Stories from Deep in the Heart

Stories from Deep in the Heart is an award-winning in depth folklore and audio documentary training for Austin and Central Texas high public school students and teachers. Participants create short, broadcast quality audio documentaries on the stories, folklore, arts and traditions of their families and communities. Participants are teachers and students from schools identified by AISD and other districts as undergoing critical population changes, schools with a high percentage of at-risk youth, and schools that have pressing need of cultural diversity training. 


“We are so honored to be included in this year’s generous grants from the NEA,” said Acting Director Charlie Lockwood. “Texas Folklife is committed to preserving the stories, skills, and traditions of our state and these funds will help us in our mission. I am grateful to Chairman Chu for seeing the promise and benefit of Texas Folklife and to our team for helping to make these programs so successful.”


To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring16. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to



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. For 31 years, 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

(512) 441-9255

(844) 386-2091


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