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

John Hollandsworth and Sam Gleaves

Patented in 1881 by German instrument repairman Charles Zimmerman, the autoharp first reached popularity in the United States as a novelty instrument. By 1900, by the time the fad had… Read More»

Earl and Scottie Blake

The Latin roots of the term Carnival mean “farewell to meat,” as Carnival falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten period. Carnival is celebrated throughout… Read More»

Wallace Gusler and Bruce Larson

The importation and manufacturing of firearms have been part of Virginia’s history since European settlement. The first documented firearms brought to Virginia in 1607 were muskets equipped with matchlocks, snaphances,… Read More»

Harold Mitchell and Dale Morris

If you have attended the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention any time in the last forty years, you will quickly recognize the familiar voice of Galax native Harold Mitchell. Always impeccably… Read More»