In These Mountains Appalachian Folklife Apprenticeship
The North Carolina In These Mountains Appalachian Folklife Apprenticeship program supports 12-month apprenticeships in the folk and traditional arts of the many cultural communities within North Carolina’s Appalachian Regional Commission counties. In 2019, 2020, and 2021, the apprenticeship program application will focus on the traditional folk arts and culture of North Carolina’s Appalachian communities as part of the three-year In These Mountains project sponsored by South Arts. Applications will be reviewed by a panel, and two mentor/apprentice pairings will be selected each year.
All applicants must be 18 years or older.
Mentor artists will receive a grant award of $7,000. Apprentices will receive a grant award of $3,000. Applicants will describe who is responsible for any supply costs. Typically, the apprentice is expected to cover the cost of supplies. Alternative distributions of funding may be considered upon request.
Applications are due on April 5, 2021. Selected pairs will be announced in May. Apprenticeships will take place from July 2021 through June 2022.
About Folklife and Traditional Arts
Folklife is the expressive arts, practices, and lifeways that emerge from within a community. Folklife that is passed through generations becomes the traditional arts of that community. Traditional arts are often deeply rooted in a geographic location and its religious, ethnic and occupational groups, or they are carried with immigrant and migrant communities as they establish themselves in new homes. Folklife and Traditional Arts are the arts and practices of the people, and are typically taught through one-on-one training in a community setting.
Such practices include traditional music, crafts, visual arts, dances, foodways, calendar or life-cycle customs, verbal arts, healing arts, and occupational skills.
What is a Mentor Artist and an Apprentice?
A mentor artist is a tradition bearer committed to the perpetuation of a traditional art form or practice of his or her cultural heritage. Mentor artists are recognized by fellow artists and their own community members as skilled and dedicated practitioners. Applying mentor artists should demonstrate expertise, teaching experience, long engagement with their art form or practice, and deep knowledge of their tradition.
An apprentice is a dedicated student who has been chosen by a mentor artist for a sustained period of study in the mentor’s art form or practice. The apprentice should have some past experience with the mentor’s tradition before beginning an apprenticeship, so that the time together will help develop the apprentice on their own path to mastery. Apprentices and mentors may be family members, and apprentices may have studied under the mentor artist previously. The strongest pairings will share a common community or religious, ethnic, or occupational group. The strongest applicants for apprenticeships will also have the intention to continue the transmission of their art form by training others in the future. Teams of two or three apprentices are eligible to study with one mentor artist if such a learning style is preferable within the tradition.
The Appalachian Folklife Apprenticeship program is designed to encourage the continued transmission, practice, and development of the region’s many folklife traditions, especially those that face endangerment. For application cycles in 2019, 2020, and 2021, only apprenticeship pairs within Appalachian Regional Commission counties are eligible to apply. In North Carolina, these counties are: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Davie, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey Counties.
Ineligible art forms and activities include the work of contemporary studio craft artists, professional teachers, and revivals by mentor artists from outside of the activity’s originating cultural community. While mentors must represent a tradition known and practiced within their North Carolina community, apprentices may come from different backgrounds or cultural communities.
What Makes a Strong Application?
The mentor and apprentice must submit all materials as a single application. Part A (Mentor Application) is to be completed by the mentor, Part B (Apprentice Application) is to be completed by the apprentice, and Part C (Work Plan) is to be completed by the mentor and apprentice together.
Please type or hand-write in clear, legible print. You may use extra sheets of paper if needed.
To request that a hard-copy of the application be mailed to you, contact Folklife Director Zoe van Buren at email@example.com or 646-247-4394.
If submitting electronically, please email the application and all support materials to firstname.lastname@example.org
If sending through US Postal Service, please mail application and support materials to:
N.C. Arts Council
Attn: Zoe van Buren
4632 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4600
If sending through FedEx or UPS or for hand delivery, please mail to:
N.C. Arts Council
Attn: Zoe van Buren
109 E. Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Applications must be received in our office by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 5, 2021.
Both mentor and apprentice must submit work samples with the application. Use the Work Samples page of the application to describe each attached sample or how web materials may be accessed online. Links to videos on YouTube, Vimeo, or a similar accessible website may be submitted as work samples.
For Musical or Verbal Traditions
For Crafts, Material Culture, and Foodways
For Dance, Folk Theater, Calendar or Life-Cycle Customs