2022-2023 Folklife Apprenticeship Applications and Guidelines Now Available

2022-2023 Folklife Apprenticeship Applications and Guidelines Now Available

APPLICATION DEADLINE: August 1, 2022

The West Virginia Folklife Program, a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, is now accepting applications for its statewide Folklife Apprenticeship Program. The program supports West Virginia master traditional artists or tradition bearers working with qualified apprentices on a year-long in-depth apprenticeship in their cultural expression or traditional art form. These apprenticeships of traditional music, dance, craft, foodways, storytelling, and more—in any cultural community in the Mountain State—facilitate the transmission of techniques and artistry of the forms as well as their histories and traditions.

The award amount totals to $3,500; $3,000 to support the master artist and $500 to cover the costs of tools and materials for the apprentice. Artists and their proposed apprentice must apply together. Download applications and guidelines here or contact state folklorist Jennie Williams at (304)346-8500 or williams@wvhumanities.org.

The West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program will support up to nine pairs of master traditional artists and their apprentices, culminating in a final public showcase in 2023. Folklife apprenticeship pairs will also hold a public presentation in their home communities. “After witnessing several exciting partnerships develop between the previous folklife apprenticeship pairs, we look forward to working with the next cohort who will carry on their cultural traditions and traditional art forms in their communities for generations to come,” says state folklorist Jennie Williams.

This year marks the third round of the biennial program. The 2020-2021 Folklife Apprenticeship Program awarded seven apprenticeship pairs who practiced a range of traditional art forms including old-time banjo of central West Virginia, heirloom seed saving, and storytelling in midwifery. Read more about the previous participants of the West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship program here.

The West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program is administered by the West Virginia Folklife Program at the West Virginia Humanities Council in Charleston and is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. West Virginia Folklife is dedicated to the documentation, preservation, presentation, and support of West Virginia’s vibrant cultural heritage and living traditions.

If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to contact state folklorist Jennie Williams at williams@wvhumanities.org or (304)346-8500 to discuss your application and to answer any questions.

Featured photo caption: Clockwise from top left corner: Blues and Black gospel singer Doris Fields (Lady D) performs with her apprentice Xavier Oglesby during their apprenticeship showcase at the West Virginia Humanities Council, old-time banjo player Kim Johnson practices with her apprentice Cody Jordan, Kathy Evans teaches her apprentice Margaret Bruning during their “Sheep-to-Shawl” apprenticeship, and Ed Daniels demonstrates forest farming to his apprentice Clara Haizlett.

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