Last weekend, we presented a two-day “Celebration of Virginia Folklife” on July 7 and 8, 2023 at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, as part of the Library’s year-long 200th anniversary celebration.
The festivities kicked off Friday evening with a reception, film screening, and stage program honoring our 2022–23 Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship teams, with over 100 people in attendance.
On Saturday, nearly 300 folks came out for an afternoon featuring collection displays and family activities highlighting old and new Virginia musical traditions. Performances included old-time (Jared Boyd on banjo with Ben Miller on fiddle), shape-note singing (Richmond Shape Note Singers), and Puerto Rican plena (Kadencia, feat. Maurice Sanabria, in our just-announced apprenticeship cohort), and more.
Join us in Roanoke at the Taubman Museum of Art on Thursday, August 17, for our second apprenticeship celebration and film screening—or scroll down to watch our eight shorts on YouTube.
“The apprenticeship has not only helped me to train the next generation of eel pot makers (important to the future of our art), but more importantly, it has helped me to train a new generation of teachers.”D. Brad Hatch, Patawomeck eel pot maker
“Thank you for hosting Tata and her team and allowing the local community to learn from her, and for flying me to Puerto Rico. We created unmeasurable memories. I learned so much from Tata and her team, and I know this is the beginning of many more great things.”Isha M. Renta López, bomba dance apprentice
Watch the Apprenticeship Films
Margarita Tata Cepeda (San Juan) with apprentice Isha M Renta López (Fredericksburg)
Patawomeck Eel Pots
D. Brad Hatch with apprentices Reagan Andersen and David Onks IV (White Oak)
Joshua Purnell with apprentice Tom Norris and the Tidewater Blues dance community (Norfolk)
Gullah-Geechee Style Gospel
Bernadette “B.J.” Lark with apprentice Alanjha Harris (Roanoke)
Appalachian Ballad Singing
Elizabeth LaPrelle (Smyth Co.) with apprentice Elsa Howell (Roanoke)
Women in Old-Time Fiddling
Betty Vornbrok (Carroll Co.) with apprentice Sharon Andreucci (Galax)
Violin Making and Repair
Daniel Smith (Lynchburg) with apprentice Richard Maxham (Alexandria)
Kazem Davoudian (Sterling) with apprentice Alexander Sabet (Washington, DC)