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TEXAS FOLKLIFE LAUNCHES “2016 Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts” PROGRAM

MEDIA CONTACT: Sheree Scarborough 



TEXAS FOLKLIFE LAUNCHES “2016 Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts” PROGRAM


Grants of up to $1,500 available for Apprentices to train with Master Artists in the Folk and Traditional Arts of Texas

Priority given to Polka and Zydeco Applications, but all Texas-based Applicants from any Folk and Traditional Arts disciplines encouraged to apply


Program Guidelines and Application now available at  Application deadline is November 20, 2015.  

Program Guidelines and Application (Fillable PDF)

Program Guidelines and Application (For Print)


Austin, Texas – October 21, 2015 – Texas Folklife is excited to announce the return of its longstanding program “Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts.”  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. As the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)-designated Folk & Traditional Arts organization for the state of Texas, Texas Folklife recently received a $35,000 NEA state partnership grant award in conjunction with the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) to revitalize the program.


Apprentices will be selected by an application process to work with master artists in a variety of disciplines. Texas Folklife welcomes applications from all traditions in the Lone Star State. In the past, Texas Folklife has awarded apprenticeships to a diverse selection of practices, including everything from lute-making and horse saddlery to South Indian vocal music and West African dance. The organization does, however, specialize in the accordion-based musical traditions found in the state of Texas. For that reason, special consideration will be given to Polka and Zydeco applicants. Building on efforts to diversify the Big Squeeze, Texas Folklife’s statewide accordion contest for young players, the majority of apprenticeship spots will be reserved for those Cajun/Zydeco and Polka accordion traditions.


Apprenticeship Program Overview:
Texas Folklife's Apprenticeships in the Folk Arts program encourages the continuation of Texas's traditional arts by providing grants to master artists for the training of qualified apprentices. This grant will compensate the master artist for his or her time and training; a specified amount may also be used to help offset the costs of travel and supplies. Successful applicants will participate in one public presentation of their traditional art form in consultation with Texas Folklife. 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 or her 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. Traditional arts, also called the folk arts, are those art forms practiced by a group of people with a common learning experience. The folk arts are learned informally and are often passed on from generation to generation.

A master artist is usually a person who has spent most of his life learning and practicing a traditional art form. Qualified apprentices are people who are somewhat skilled in the same art form. For centuries, skills and trades have been passed down from master craftsmen to apprentices who work under their supervision. By relegating the more basic tasks to the apprentice, the master craftsman could concentrate on further refining his or her art while increasing production. The apprentice learned not only the craft, but also how to teach it to his/her own apprentices. This time-honored system assures the perpetuation of these skills through successive generations and preserves specific aspects of folk culture.



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 30 years, 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

(512) 441-9255

(844) 386-2091    



For program Information, please contact:
Charlie Lockwood, Texas Folklife Programs & Development Director 
(512) 441-9255


Media Contact: Sheree Scarborough 
(512) 922-5483