Folklife Apprenticeships

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.

Applications are not currently being accepted at this time. The next application window will open in 2024.

The West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program supports West Virginia 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 teaching artist and $500 to the apprentice to cover expenses such as necessary tools, travel, and materials. Artists and their proposed apprentice must apply together.

Download the Folklife Apprenticeship Guidelines below (Updated 7/27/22):

2022 Folklife Apprenticeship GUIDELINES (PDF)

Read posts about the West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program and meet past and current apprentice teams here.

The West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Featured Image Caption: 2017-2018 apprentice Jen Iskow with master Clay County fiddler John Morris

2022-2023 Folklife Apprenticeship Pairs

Mushroom Foraging 

Sharon Briggs and apprentice Anthony Murray 

Fiddle Repair 

Chris Haddox and apprentice Mary Linscheid  

Clawhammer Banjo

Joe Herrmann and apprentice Dakota Karper

Appalachian Storytelling

Bil Lepp and apprentice James Froemel 

Fiber Arts

Enrica McMillon and apprentice Barbara Weaner 

Old-Time Fiddle Tunes and Techniques 

Gerry Milnes and apprentice Annick Odom

Soul Food Cooking 

Xavier Oglesby and apprentice Brooklyn Oglesby 

2020-2021 Folklife Apprenticeship Pairs

Agroforestry/Forest Farming

Ed & Carol Daniels, and apprentice Clara Haizlett 

Sheep to Shawl: The Art of Raising Sheep and Creating Fiber Arts 

Kathy Evans and apprentice Margaret Bruning

Old-Time Fiddle

Joe Herrmann and apprentice Dakota Karper

Traditional Appalachian Herbalism

Leenie Hobbie and apprentice Jon Falcone 

Old-Time Banjo 

Kim Johnson and apprentice Cody Jordan 

Home Birth Midwifery 

Angelita Nixon and apprentice Christine Weirick  

Seed Saving and Related Storytelling 

Mehmet Öztan and apprentice Lafayette Dexter 

2017-2018 Folklife Apprenticeship Pairs

Salt-Rising Bread

Genevieve “Jenny” Bardwell & Susan Ray Brown, and apprentice Amy Dawson

Blues and Black Gospel Music

Doris A. Fields (Raleigh County) and apprentice Xavier C. Oglesby (Raleigh County)

Green Traditions

Marion Harless and apprentice Kara Vaneck 

Old-Time Fiddling

John D. Morris and apprentice Jen Iskow 

Old-Time Fiddling

Doug Van Gundy and apprentice Annie Stroud