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

Susan Gaeta and Gina Sobel

When the Sephardic Jews were forced into exile from Spain and Portugal in the late fifteenth century, many settled in other Mediterranean countries but preserved their native language, Ladino, and… Read More»

Julia Garcia and Gloria Encinas

In Northern Virginia, a large Bolivian community from the Valle Alto (High Valley) of Cochabamba is maintaining the spirit and customs of their native Quechua culture and language. Through the… Read More»

Scott Freeman, Linda Lay and Kitty Amaral

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY-cPEzk-D4[/embedyt] The early song-collecting journeys of folklorists informed the rest of America about the remarkable breadth of fiddle tunes in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, many of which closely… Read More»

Kay Justice and Helen White

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 referred to… 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»