Virginia Folklife Program

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Apprenticeship Showcase: Sunday, September 21 at VFH

2014ApprenticeshipImageJoin the Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities on Sunday, September 21st, 2014, from 1:00pm to 5:00 pm for the eleventh annual Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase. We’ll celebrate the graduating class of folklife apprentices and introduce the incoming Virginia Folk Masters, with musical performances, crafts, and food.

The event is free and open to the public. Children and families are welcome. The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is located next to the Boar’s Head Inn, 145 Ednam Drive, off Route 250 West in Charlottesville. For more information, call 434-924-3296.

This year’s showcase will feature masters of a wide range of Virginia traditions, including:

  • Blues and gospel legends The Holmes Brothers
  • National Heritage Award winner Flory Jagoda
  • Family of Praise gospel choir from Richmond, VA
  • Bluegrass and old time music
  • Instrument makers
  • Wood working trades
  • Bee keeping demonstrations
  • Real Brunswick stew made on site by the Red Oak Stew Crew
  • Oyster Shucking Contest and demonstration with Deborah Pratt and Clementine Macon

And much more!

The Folklife Apprenticeships pair an experienced master artist with an apprentice for a one-on-one, nine-month learning experience, in order to ensure that a particular art form is passed on in ways that are conscious of history and faithful to tradition.

Holmes Brothers Receive NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that gospel and soul legends The Holmes Brothers of Christchurch, Virginia, have just received the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor the United States bestows upon traditional artists. For nearly 40 years, brothers Wendell and Sherman Holmes, along with friend and neighbor Popsy Dixon, have shared their stunning harmonies and instrumentation with adoring fans across the globe. We could not be more proud!

The National Endowment for the Arts annually awards up to nine NEA National Heritage Fellowships to master folk and traditional artists to honor and preserve our nation’s diverse cultural heritage. These fellowships recognize lifetime achievement, artistic excellence, and contributions to our nation’s traditional arts heritage. See the NEA’s full list of 2014 National Heritage Fellows.

Virginia boasts fourteen National Heritage Award Winners:



HoustonFest 2014: Jewel of Festival Circuit

Three of four Steve Martin prize-winners, from left Jens KrŸuger, Sammy Shelor and Mark Johnson.

Three of four Steve Martin prize-winners, from left Jens KrŸuger, Sammy Shelor and Mark Johnson.

The city of Galax came alive in early May for the fourth annual Houstonfest. Born out of a community’s grief over the tragic passing of Houston Caldwell, a gifted banjoist and dedicated contributor to the civic life of Galax, Houstonfest has quietly become one of the true jewels of the Virginia festival circuit. Under gorgeous skies, the thousands who flocked to Felt’s Park were treated to stellar sets by such luminaries of bluegrass as Ralph Stanley, the Whites, Sammy Shelor and the Lonesome River Band, and many others. Ricky Skaggs, husband of Sharon White, made a surprise appearance and joined both Stanley and the Whites on stage in memorable performances.


Featured Video

Oyster Shucking at the Folklife Apprentice Showcase 2012

Deborah Pratt defeated her sister Clementine Macon in an oyster-shucking showdown at the Virginia Folklife Program’s Apprentice Showcase on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012.

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