Staff will examine all applications for completeness and compliance with eligibility criteria. An independent review panel will evaluate applications based on several criteria including:

  • The practice to be taught qualifies as a traditional art form (see eligibility).
  • The master artist demonstrates a strong traditional background, cultural expertise, and teaching ability.
  • The apprentice has more than beginner skill level and shows a commitment to learning and perpetuating the traditional art form.
  • The study plan and budget are suited to the art form and reflect a viable schedule for both participants, with an appropriate amount of training time allotted to significantly improve the skill level of the apprentice.

In making the final selection, panelists and staff are instructed to:

  • Give priority to traditions that are endangered or have few practitioners in Tennessee.
  • Represent Tennessee’s ethnic and regional diversity.
  • Represent a diversity of traditional art forms.
  • Give priority to masters and apprentices who share the same cultural or ethnic background. Family members are allowed to work together as master and apprentice.
  • Give priority to teams who have clearly drawn plans to share their work together in a public venue.


Following panel review, applicants will receive notification of the award. Selected teams can then commence working together and request partial funding up front for supplies and mileage. The remaining supplies, mileage, and full honoraria will be paid upon completion of the apprenticeship.

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