Apprenticeship Program

The Folklife Apprenticeship Program 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. Since 2002, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has provided funding to support more than 100 pairs of masters and apprentices in all forms of Virginia’s traditional, expressive culture—from decoy carving to fiddle making, from boat building to quilt making, from country ham curing to old-time banjo playing, from African Merican gospel singing to Mexican folk dancing.

More about the Apprenticeship Program and how to apply »

Apprenticeship Teams

Jay Eagle and Tyler Eagle

Stunningly beautiful Highland County, Virginia, is the southernmost site in the United States for the production of maple syrup, where “Sugar Camps” have traditionally been small-scale, family-run operations. The syrup-making… Read More»

Bill and Chuck Shelton and Rob Shelton

Thomas Jefferson experimented with eighteen or more varieties of apples at Monticello, only a few miles from the orchard faithfully tended by the Shelton family in North Garden, Virginia. The… Read More»

Olin Bare and Bruce Watts

There is a long history of traditional hunting in Rockbridge County and throughout Virginia. Olin Bare’s family traditions including hunting methods have been faithfully handed down ever since his family… Read More»

Mac Traynham and Robert Browder

While the first European and African settlers of Southern Appalachia carried with them a strong stringed-instrument music tradition, instruments were often difficult to acquire, leading players to be resourceful in… Read More»

Ubaldo Sanchez and Jorge Cabrera

Alfombras de arracin (rice carpets) are created in Guatemalan cities and villages during Holy Week. Using dyed sawdust, rice, dried beans, and other vegetable materials, teams of artists create a… Read More»