The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program is designed to encourage the survival, continued development, and proliferation of our state’s diverse folklife traditions, especially those that are rare or endangered. Funding is awarded to eligible teams of master artists and apprentices committed to preserving, through one-on-one training, a traditional art form deeply rooted in their community and cultural heritage. Such practices include traditional music, visual art, crafts, dance, foodways, calendar and life-cycle customs, and occupational skills. Traditional art forms are those learned and passed down informally by imitation, word of mouth, or observation and performance in cultural communities that share family, ethnic, tribal, regional, occupational, or religious identity. Masters and Apprentices are selected by a panel of specialists in traditional arts and folklife.
2019 Masters and Apprentices
Rafael Casco, master, and Hector Figueroa, apprentice. Wood Relief Carving and Painting. Pigeon Forge, TN.
Mike Compton, master, and Jackson Carter, apprentice. Monroe-Style Mandolin. Wilson and Overton Counties, TN.
Paul Davis, master, and Kenzie Adams, apprentice. Flint Marble Making. Celina, TN.*
Hattie Marshall Duncan, master, and Keesha Marshall-Reid, apprentice. Paper Clay and Wire Sculpture. Jackson, TN.
Rhiannon Giddens, master, and Uma Peters, apprentice. Gourd Banjo. Nashville, TN.
Dudley Harris, master, and Rita Nicole Perry, apprentice. Country Blues. Henderson, TN.
Daniel Hicks, Freeda Beaty, Carmen Hicks McCord, masters, and Summer Boyd, Angela Bailey, Mack Bailey, Erin Bailey, apprentices. Unaccompanied Balladry. Fentress and Dickson Counties, TN.
Samira Jubran, master, and Areej Itayem, apprentice. Tatreez Embroidery. Germantown, TN.
Will Smith, master, and Sarah Carter, apprentice. Autoharp. Lebanon, TN.
Rick Stewart, master, Brendon Stewart, apprentice. Coopering. Sneedville, TN.*
Robert Townsend, master, and Isaiah Northcutt, apprentice. Fiddling of the South Cumberlands. Coalmont, TN.*
Sue Williams, master, and Rhonda Elkins Brown, apprentice. White Oak Basketry. Cannon and Warren Counties, TN.*
*These teams are funded through a special partnership with the South Arts’ initiative In These Mountains: Central Appalachian Folk Art & Culture.
2018 Masters and Apprentices
Willie Artison, master, and Kenneth Artison, apprentice. African-American Gospel Music. Memphis, TN.
R.L. Boyce, master, and Kesha Burton, apprentice. Fife and Drum Music. Brownsville, TN.
Malvina Carrera, master, and Angela Webb, apprentice. Pollera Dressmaking. Knoxville, TN.
Michael DeFosche, master, and Trenton Caruthers, apprentice. Cumberland Plateau Fiddling. Whitleyville, TN.
Manuel Delgado, master, and Ava Delgado, apprentice. Stringed Instrument Making. Nashville, TN.
Louis Frazor, master, and Daniel Rothwell, apprentice. Square Dance Calling. Shelbyville, TN.
Thomas Maupin, master, and Jake Fennell, apprentice. Buck Dancing. Murfreesboro, TN.
Mark Newberry, master, and Malika Scheu, apprentice. Chairmaking. Red Boiling Springs, TN.
Sue Williams, master, and Michelle Hennessee, apprentice. White Oak Basketry. Morrison, TN.
2017 Masters and Apprentices
Jean Horner, master and Austin Derryberry, apprentice. Fiddle Making. Westel, TN.
Jack Martin, master and Jack Tipton, apprentice. Broommaking. Selmer, TN.
Thomas Maupin, master and Courtney Williams, apprentice. Buck Dancing. Murfreesboro, TN.
Kofi Mawuko, master and Dermarland Dean, apprentice. Ghanaian Drumming. Chattanooga, TN.
Billy Ramirez, master, Rachel Rodriguez, apprentice and Khe Crutcher, apprentice. Conga Playing. Antioch, TN.
Sally Wells, master and Madison Dean, apprentice. Choctaw Beadwork. Smyrna, TN.
Sue Williams, master and Brenda Kucharski, apprentice. White Oak Basketry. Morrison, TN.
James Wood, master and Ben Ayers, apprentice. Guitar Accompaniment. Shelbyville, TN.