Apprenticeship Program

The Folklife Apprenticeship Program pairs an experienced master artist with an eager apprentice for a one-on-one, nine month learning experience, in order to help ensure that a particular art form is passed on in ways that are conscious of history and faithful to tradition. Since 2002, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has provided funding to support more than 100 pairs of masters and apprentices in all forms of Virginia’s traditional, expressive culture—from decoy carving to fiddle making, from boat building to quilt making, from country ham curing to old-time banjo playing, from African-American gospel singing to Mexican folk dancing.

More about the Apprenticeship Program and how to apply »

Apprenticeship Teams

Kay Justice and Helen White

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBE9Oc9332Q[/embedyt] There is perhaps nowhere in America with a deeper or more widely recognized ballad tradition than Southern Appalachia. The region has been a draw for ballad scholars (sometimes… Read More»

David and Mason Via

While many songs in folk music are credited as “traditional” or “public domain,” there is simply no song without a songwriter. Virginia has had more than its share of prolific… Read More»

Humayun Khan and Ved Sheth

Indian classical music has evolved over the centuries, and its many diverse forms reflect the great diversity of the subcontinent of India. Hindustani classical music is traditionally practice-oriented, and learned… Read More»

Sochietah Ung and Matthew Regan and Lena Ouk

In the years between 1975 and 1979, the Maoist-inspired radical group, the Khmer Rouge, committed horrific acts of genocide in Cambodia, attempting to collectivize Khmer socioeconomic operations, destroy the traditional… Read More»

Herschel Sizemore and Mike Walker

Legendary Roanoke mandolin player and composer Herschel Sizemore returns as a 2016 master artist. When he was eight years old, Herschel’s parents took him to see Bill Monroe perform at… Read More»

Andrei Saveliev and Aaron Mott

The balalaika, a traditional Russian stringed instrument with a triangular wooden body, is often referred to as “the Russian three-string guitar.” It was considered a folk instrument in Russia, and… Read More»

Jim Bordwine and Baron Bordwine

Nestled in the southern Appalachian Mountains, Saltville is named for its unusually high number of salt marshes, or, as locals call them, salt licks. Saltville’s natural salt deposits have influenced… Read More»