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

Apprenticeship team Aaron Mott and Andrei Saveliev. Photo by Pat Jarrett/Virginia Folklife Program.

Andrei Saveliev and Aaron Mott

The balalaika, a traditional Russian stringed instrument with a triangular wooden body, is often referred to as “the Russian three-string guitar.” It was considered a folk instrument in Russia, and… Read More»

Salt making apprenticeship team Jim and Baron Bordwine. Photo by Pat Jarrett/Virginia Folklife Program.

Jim Bordwine and Baron Bordwine

Nestled in the southern Appalachian Mountains, Saltville is named for its unusually high number of salt marshes, or, as locals call them, salt licks. Saltville’s natural salt deposits have influenced… Read More»

Jim Baker and Jack Hinshelwood.

Billy Baker and Jack Hinshelwood

Billy Baker, born in 1936 in Pound, Virginia, has lived his whole life surrounded by music. Encouraged by his parents, both banjo players, Baker proved to be a musical prodigy.… Read More»

Dale Wise plays in front of part of his accordion collection.
Pat Jarrett/The Virginia Folklife Program

Dale Wise and Lori Sallade

The accordion, a box-shaped instrument first patented in Vienna in 1829, was a folk instrument played largely by commoners. At the turn of the twentieth century, European emigrants took the… Read More»

Photo by Pat Jarrett/Virginia Folklife Program.

Danny Knicely and Jack Dunlap

Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley has long been fertile ground for the development of old-time and bluegrass music, and the Knicelys are one of its most prominent musical families. Multi-instrumentalist A. O.… Read More»

Master quilter Sharon Tindall, left, is teaching the details of the craft to apprentice Nancy Chilton. Photos taken in Chilton's home studio in Fairfax.
Pat Jarrett/The Virginia Folklife Program

Sharon Tindall and Nancy Chilton

Quilting, a method of sewing together two or more layers of material to make a thicker material, has been practiced for thousands of years. While the term “quilting” technically refers… Read More»

Master chair maker Sean "Purl" Samoheyl, right, runs the chair shop at the Twin Oaks Intentional Community in Louisa, Virginia. His apprentice David Rogers works in the shop with him on Sunday 1/19/14.
Photo by Pat Jarrett/The Virginia Folklife Program

Sean “Purl” Samoheyl and David Rogers

Sean Samoheyl is a resident of the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa County—an intentional community founded on the principles of egalitarianism and sustainability. One of numerous intentional communities created in… Read More»