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Texas Folklife Seeks Participants for its 2018 Apprenticeship Program




Sheree Scarborough

(512) 922-5483,





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


Austin, Texas – October 3, 2017 – Texas Folklife has made its 2018 application for the Apprenticeships in the Folk & Traditional Arts program available to the public. It is available at:

Program guidelines and additional information are also available through this link on the Texas Folklife website. The postmark deadline for applications is Friday, November 10, 2017, at 5:00 p.m.


The Apprenticeship Program encourages the continuation of traditional arts in Texas by providing up to $2,500 awards to master artists to train apprentices. This award 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.


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.


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.


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 African dance. To see a list of previous Apprenticeship awardees and their traditions, visit


A review panel will meet in November to evaluate the applications, and applicants will be notified of their awards in January 2018. At that time a press release will go out to announce the 2018 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 by doing a public performance at the conclusion of the apprenticeship period.


“The Apprenticeship Program is an example of Texas Folklife doing what we do best,” said Executive Director Charlie Lockwood. “One pillar of our mission is to encourage the continuity of traditional arts in the state. With this program we are involved in the direct transmission of cultural heritage and knowledge between artists, tradition bearers and craftspeople—and in many cases from one generation to the next. In doing so, our goal is to help these traditional arts not only survive, but thrive.”


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 Cultural Arts Division.


An exhibit about the Apprenticeship Program, The Master & The Apprentice: Highlights from the Texas Folklife Apprenticeship Program, will be on view at the Texas Folklife Gallery from October 26, 2017 through January 12, 2018. More information can be found at:



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. Since 1984, 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 /

Program information: Ian Hallagan (512) 441-9255 /