The Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program announces the launch of its Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. The new initiative is designed to encourage the survival, continued development and proliferation of our state’s diverse folklife traditions, especially those that are rare or endangered.

Master and apprentice teams committed to preserving a traditional folklife art form that is deeply rooted in their cultural heritage will embark on one-on-one training for a six-month period. Eight diverse teams of master traditional artists and apprentices have been selected to participate in this inaugural year. The first class of Masters and Apprentices was selected by a panel of specialists in traditional arts and folklife. The applicant pool was deep and highly competitive. Learn more about these remarkable traditional artists.

 A master artist is a tradition bearer who is recognized by fellow artists and community members as being exceptionally skilled and committed to sharing and perpetuating a traditional art form based in his or her cultural heritage. An apprentice is a talented, committed student who desires to sharpen his or her skills in a community-based traditional art. The master and apprentice teams are committed to training in a community-based folk or traditional art. 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 in cultural communities that share family, ethnic, tribal, regional, occupational, or religious identity.

Stay tuned to this site for additional news and information about the program’s next opening for applications in the summer of 2017.




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