Texas Folklife Seeks Participants for its 2019 Apprenticeship Program




Charlie Lockwood

(512) 441-9255, clockwood@texasfolklife.org




Awards of up to $2,500 for Apprentices to train with Master Artists in the Folk and Traditional Arts of Texas


Austin, Texas – September 5, 2018 – Texas Folklife has made the 2019 application for the Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts Program available to the public. It is available at:  texasfolklife.org/apprenticeships.


Program guidelines, a video overview of the program, and additional information are available through this link on the Texas Folklife website. The postmark deadline for applications is Friday, November 16, 2018, at 5:00 p.m.


Texas Folklife's Apprenticeships in the Folk Arts program provides awards of up to $2,500 for master artists to train qualified apprentices. The apprenticeship program allows an apprentice 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.


Who Can Apply?

Master artists and apprentices should apply together and submit one application. Apprentices should have a significant amount of experience with their chosen tradition and be strongly committed to improving their skills and working with the community in order to carry on the tradition. Master artists should be among the finest practitioners of their craft in their community. Applications from all traditions are welcome.


What are the Folk & Traditional Arts?

The traditional arts, commonly referred to as folklife, folklore, traditional culture, or simply tradition, are art forms practiced by groups who share similar cultural values, and/or a common heritage. The traditional arts are often learned informally, passed from generation to generation orally. These skills and trades are taught to apprentices under the direct supervision of a master artist, who is recognized as an expert in their field. The apprentice not only learns the art or craft directly through an experienced individual, but also how to teach it to his/her own apprentices. This system assures the perpetuation of these skills through successive generations and facilitates the longevity of cultural practices.


New for 2019 Program

Beginning this year, master artists from the surrounding states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico will be eligible to apply. Apprentices muststill reside in Texas in order to be considered. Additionally, an Online Resource Packet is available to program applicants. This packet provides examples of top applications and supporting materials. A FAQ is also provided with answers to common questions. This can be found by visiting texasfolklife.org/apprenticeships. 


Since 1987, Texas Folklife has awarded apprenticeships to over 250 master artist and apprentices to pass on and refine their knowledge of their art form, continuing the diverse traditional art forms in Texas. Apprenticeships have included everything from conjunto accordion and custom spurmaking to South Indian vocal music and African dance. To see a list of previous Apprenticeship awardees and their traditions, visit http://texasfolklife.org/apprenticeships.html.


A review panel made up of folk & traditional arts specialists and past program participants will meet in December to evaluate applications. Applicants will be notified of their awards in January 2019. At that time a press release will be sent out to announce the 2019 Apprentice Program awardees. Program Awardees will participate in an interview with Texas Folklife, where they will discuss their experience with the tradition, its significance, its continuation, and demonstrate what has been learned through the apprenticeship. Apprentices will also illustrate their training through a public performance at the conclusion of the apprenticeship period.


“Our Apprenticeship Program showcases extraordinary artists and tradition bearers across Texas”, said Executive Director Charlie Lockwood. “Two foundational pillars of our mission are to encourage the continuity of vital traditional arts practices in the state and share these unique cultural expressions with the public.  This program encourages the direct transmission of cultural heritage and knowledge between artists and tradition bearers, while bringing attention to the beauty and importance of their work”. 

This program is made possible in part by the board and members of Texas Folklife and from a State Partnership award from the National Endowment from 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 City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.

Photo sampler of 2018 Apprenticeship Program participants:

Video overview of the Apprenticeship Program:

Interactive map of recent Apprenticeship Program participants:

About Texas Folklife

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the presentation and preservation of the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. Since 1984, Texas Folklife has honored the 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: Charlie Lockwood (512)441-9255 / clockwood@texasfolklife.org

Program information: Ian Hallagan (512) 441-9255 / apprenticeships@texasfolklife.org