Panel Review Criteria


Folklife Program staff will review 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.
  • The master artist demonstrates a strong traditional background, cultural expertise, and teaching ability.
  • The apprentice has more than a beginner skill level and is committed to learning and perpetuating the traditional art form.
  • The work plan and budget are suited to the tradition 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 selections, panelists and staff are instructed to:

  • Give priority to traditions that have few practitioners in Tennessee.
  • Give priority to highly qualified first-time applicants who practice an underserved tradition.
  • Give priority to master artists and apprentices who share the same cultural or ethnic background.
  • Give priority to projects that have clearly drawn plans to document and share their work together in a public venue.
  • Consider the ethnic and regional diversity of the overall slate of awarded applicants.


Following the panel review, applicants will be notified of their acceptance or nonacceptance into the program. Accepted master artists and apprentices will be required to sign and submit a letter of agreement and other necessary paperwork. Selected artists can then begin working together and request funding for supplies and mileage. The honoraria will be paid upon completion of the project term.