West Virginia Folklife Seeks Applications for Apprenticeship Program

The West Virginia Folklife Program, a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, is accepting applications for its statewide Folklife Apprenticeship Program.

The program offers up to a $3,000 award to West Virginia master traditional artists or tradition bearers working with qualified apprentices on a year-long in-depth apprenticeship in their cultural expression or traditional art form. These apprenticeships, offered to masters of traditional music, dance, craft, foodways, storytelling and more — in any cultural community in the Mountain State — facilitate the transmission of techniques and artistry of the forms as well as their histories and traditions.

Complete applications online or by calling state folklorist Emily Hilliard at 304-346-8500. Applications are due Jan. 31.

The West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program will support up to eight pairs of master traditional artists and their apprentices, culminating in a final free public showcase in Charleston in early 2021. Master/apprentice pairs will also hold a free public presentation in their home communities.

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“We are thrilled to continue this program that strengthens the transmission of cultural heritage traditions between generations in communities across the state, inspires new practitioners and recognizes existing masters,” said state folklorist Emily Hilliard. This is the second year of the biennial program. The 2017-18 Apprenticeship Program awarded apprenticeships in the traditions of old-time fiddle and stories of Clay County, old-time fiddle of Greenbrier county, blues/black gospel, herbalism/green traditions and salt rising bread.

The apprenticeship program grants are administered by the West Virginia Folklife Program at the West Virginia Humanities Council in Charleston and are supported in part by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. West Virginia Folklife is dedicated to the documentation, preservation, presentation, and support of West Virginia’s vibrant cultural heritage and living traditions.

For more information on the West Virginia Folklife Program, visit wvfolklife.org or contact Emily Hilliard at hilliard@wvhumanities.org.