Apprenticeship Program

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

More about the Apprenticeship Program and how to apply »

Apprenticeship Teams

Scott Freeman and Kitty Amaral. Photo courtesy the artists.

Scott Freeman and Kitty Amaral

The early song-collecting journeys of folklorists informed the rest of America about the remarkable breadth of fiddle tunes in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, many of which closely resembled songs… Read More»

Kay Justice (right) and Helen White, old-time duet apprenticeship team. Photo courtesy the artists.

Kay Justice and Helen White

There is perhaps nowhere in America with a deeper or more widely recognized ballad tradition than Southern Appalachia. The region has been a draw for ballad scholars (sometimes referred to… Read More»

David and Mason Via, photo courtesy the artists.

David and Mason Via

While many songs in folk music are credited as “traditional” or “public domain,” there is simply no song without a songwriter. Virginia has had more than its share of prolific… Read More»

Humayan Khan (right) and apprentice Ved Sheth. Photo courtesy the artists.

Humayun Khan and Ved Sheth

Indian classical music has evolved over the centuries, and its many diverse forms reflect the great diversity of the subcontinent of India. Hindustani classical music is traditionally practice-oriented, and learned… Read More»

Master Cambodian costume maker Sochietah Ung, photo courtesy the artist.

Sochietah Ung and Matthew Regan and Lena Ouk

In the years between 1975 and 1979, the Maoist-inspired radical group, the Khmer Rouge, committed horrific acts of genocide in Cambodia, attempting to collectivize Khmer socioeconomic operations, destroy the traditional… Read More»

Herschel Sizemore and Mike Walker. Photo by Pat Jarrett/Virgina Folklife Program

Herschel Sizemore and Mike Walker

Legendary Roanoke mandolin player and composer Herschel Sizemore returns as a 2016 master artist. When he was eight years old, Herschel’s parents took him to see Bill Monroe perform at… Read More»