Visits and Documentation

During the term of the apprenticeship project, Folklife Program staff members will be active collaborators, working together with the master artist and apprentice to make the experience successful. Folklife Program staff will visit each team at least twice to document their work. Depending on the team and the tradition, documentation could include audio recordings, video recordings, and photography. The master artist and apprentice will be asked to sign permission forms designating the documentation for agency and educational use only.

At least one, and possibly both, of the site visits will take place at a teaching session. Public performances, demonstrations, workshops, participation in festivals, and other agreed upon events suited to the particular tradition might also serve as appropriate settings for a site visit.

Throughout the term of the project, teams will be asked to maintain regular and timely communication with Folklife Program staff in matters of completing necessary paperwork, scheduling site visits, promoting and documenting public events, and other general efforts to support the projects and the program.


Teams are strongly encouraged to document their work together in ways appropriate to the tradition and based on available resources. This self-documentation might include photography, video, audio, note-taking, blogging, social media posting, or some combination. Something as simple as a smart phone can accomplish most of these tasks. This documentation can be a valuable resource to both master and apprentice in the future, and, when shared publicly, can help tell the story of the traditional art form, the apprenticeship program, and the journey of learning your team is taking together.

When possible, teams should use the apprenticeship project to help grow awareness in their home community about their art form and traditional culture more generally. Many past teams have sought and received coverage in local newspapers and other media. Folklife Program staff will support masters and apprentices in these and other documentation efforts. A press release will be prepared for each team that can be used during the term of the project. Folklife Program staff will also create stories and posts about each team on the program website and social media.

As each tradition is distinctive, staff will consult individually with master artists and apprentices to help develop ways to support efforts of self-documenting.  However, applicants should consider possible strategies and opportunities ahead of time and discuss these in the application narrative where appropriate.


Teams are also strongly encouraged to seek out and schedule a local presentation in their own town, city, county, or region. This may be an exhibition, workshop, demonstration, or performance at a local venue or event. This public component is intended to heighten local awareness and appreciation of the master and apprentices’ work together and to illustrate the importance of passing on community traditions. Folklife Program staff can advise in this process and will help publicize the events.


Examples of work by the master and apprentice will be presented in an exhibition at the Tennessee Arts Commission gallery in Nashville scheduled from mid-June to early August. Folklife staff will display photographs taken during the site visits and will borrow artifacts for temporary display. All participants will be invited to attend and perform or demonstrate at a reception to be held early during the run of the exhibition. Note: Dates and details are subject to public health conditions and availability of exhibition space. Folklife staff will update program participants as details are confirmed.


Both the master artist and apprentice will be required to complete an evaluation at the end of the project. The evaluation form will be supplied by Folklife Program staff and can be submitted as hard copy or online. A complete final evaluation must be submitted by both the master artist and the apprentice before final payment can be processed.

The evaluations will ask for such feedback as:

• Did you accomplish what you set out to do in your work plan? What were the major advances made?

• How did you measure success?

• How have you documented and shared your work with the public?

• Have you received any local or other recognition?

• What have been the major challenges?