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

Danny Knicely and Jack Dunlap

Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley has long been fertile ground for the development of old-time and bluegrass music, and the Knicelys are one of its most prominent musical families. Multi-instrumentalist A. O.… Read More»

Sherman Holmes and Whitney Nelson

The Holmes brothers, of Virginia’s Middle Peninsula, have been performing a joyous and moving blend of blues, gospel, soul, rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and country for fifty years.… Read More»

Sharon Tindall and Nancy Chilton

Quilting, a method of sewing together two or more layers of material to make a thicker material, has been practiced for thousands of years. While the term “quilting” technically refers… Read More»

Sean “Purl” Samoheyl and David Rogers

Sean Samoheyl is a resident of the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa County—an intentional community founded on the principles of egalitarianism and sustainability. One of numerous intentional communities created in… Read More»

Danny Wingate and Sam Linkous

Appalachia, a region that includes Southwest Virginia, could arguably be called America’s first frontier. As early as the eighteenth century, European settlements began to expand west, with many colonists making… Read More»

Jim King and Jackson Cunningham

Beekeeping is the care of honeybee colonies, commonly in hives, to stimulate crop pollination and to ensure the production of honey and other hive products, including beeswax, propolis, and royal… Read More»

Buddy Pendleton and Aila Wildman

Buddy Pendleton is one of the true pioneers of bluegrass fiddling, having performed as a young man with Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys. In the 1970s, Buddy won the… Read More»

Flory Jagoda and Aviva Chernick

Flory Jagoda was born in 1925 in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and was raised in the city’s Sephardic Jewish community. When the Sephardic Jews were forced into exile from Spain and Portugal… Read More»