Now Accepting Applications for 2024-25! 

The online application includes three parts: Part A (to be completed by the mentor artist), Part B (to be completed by the apprentice) and Part C (to be completed by both the mentor artist and the apprentice together). Applications are due (by midnight) on Sunday, April 7, 2024. You can request a review of your online application before March 8, 2024 by emailing folklife@virginiahumanities.org.

If you would prefer a print application or to apply over the phone, please contact program staff at folklife@virginiahumanities.org or (434) 924-3296. We will consider applications submitted in languages other than English. You may download a Word document to help you prepare your application or preview questions here.


The Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program welcomes applications for apprenticeships in all forms of Virginia’s traditional, expressive culture. The mentor artist and apprentice should both be residents of Virginia. If one or both of the participants reside outside of Virginia, a compelling case must be made regarding the connection of the applicants to Virginia, and the importance of their proposed traditional skill to Virginia culture. It is also preferred, though not required, that mentors and apprentices belong to the same cultural community.

Minors are allowed to participate as an apprentice, but we require a signed letter of support from a legal guardian of the applicant.

See our FAQs for more details.


Both the mentor artist and the apprentices are strongly encouraged to include photos, audio, video, or other relevant links (to professional websites or social media accounts) that speak to your abilities and introduce the review committee to your work. If the apprentice is a minor, we recommend including a statement of support from their parent or guardian. Please upload files (or provide a document with links) to review in your online application. Alternatively, you can mail physical samples to the address below. (Support materials will be returned at the conclusion of the review process only upon request, and only if a self-addressed USPS or UPS paid mailer is provided.) 

Virginia Folklife Program 
Re: Apprenticeship Application 
946 Grady Ave. Suite 100 
Charlottesville VA 22903


The mentor artist is required to provide a reference for an individual who can speak to their skill in the tradition. This can include a former teacher, a community member, a fellow artist, etc. The application requires a name, phone number and/or email address for this reference. 


A three-person review committee comprised of a Virginia Humanities staff member, an external regional folklife expert, and a previous apprenticeship recipient will review applications based on the following criteria: 

  • Traditional nature of the proposed art or skill (20%)
  • Expertise of the master artist (20%) 
  • Demonstrated level of commitment by the master artist and the apprentice to the apprenticeship (20%) 
  • Potential impact of the apprenticeship on the continued vitality of the tradition (20%) 
  • Relevance and importance of the tradition to the cultural history of Virginia (10%) 
  • Feasibility of work plan and the coherence of the overall apprenticeship (5%) 
  • Program needs (5%) 

2024-2023

  • November 1, 2023– Application for 2024-2025 Apprenticeship Program cohort opens 
  • March 10, 2023 – Deadline to share draft application with program staff for feedback (questions can be accepted until Friday, April 5) 
  • Sunday, April 7, 2024 – Applications due (by midnight) 
  • May 10, 2024 – Applicants will be notified about the committee’s decision by this date 
  • June 6, 2024 – Public announcement of awards 
  • July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025* – Apprenticeship award period 
  • Summer 2025 – Public film screenings of apprenticeship documentary and “graduation” celebration 

Teams accepted into the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program must: 

  • Collaborate with Virginia Folklife Program staff to produce documentary materials about the apprenticeship experience and tradition—this includes working with us to schedule interviews and participating in photo and video opportunities. Artists are also required to participate in a public film screening and event (summer 2024, exact locations and dates to be determined) intended to celebrate and honor their achievements. (See the 2022 Apprenticeship Program films on our YouTube channel.)
  • Register with the University of Virginia, providing all W-9 information, to receive payment. Instructions for registering will be provided upon award notification 

Payment schedule: 

  • $5000 awarded per team for a 12-month apprenticeship (Mentor artists receive $4000; Apprentice artists receive $1000; additional funding may be available for supplies)  
  • 50% will be paid in June 2023, and the remaining 50% will be paid in the final month of the apprenticeship (by April 30, 2024) 
  • Payments are made based on availability of grant funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and UVA’s Office of Sponsored Programs. 
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