Arts Apprenticeship Program
Folk Arts Apprenticeships are designed to strengthen and preserve Wisconsin's
heritage by supporting direct passage of knowledge and skills embedded
in traditional arts. Skilled and experienced traditional or folk artists
teach committed and talented apprentices of their choosing. The
instructing artist should be locally or regionally respected in a traditional or
folk art form important to a cultural community in Wisconsin. Both the
instructing artist and apprentice should be committed to preserving the art
form. The art form should be an important component of the heritage the
instructing artist shares with the apprentice.
Awards are $3,000 to the instructing artist or a fiscal
receiver*. Successful applicants may
use the apprenticeship award to help cover
FY16 Application is
available here. (for reference only)
Next application deadline is March 2016 for FY17 awards.
FY16 Guidelines are here.
(for reference only)
instructions for preparing your application and other required materials.
Peer review meetings are held at the Wisconsin Arts
Boardís office in Madison and open to the public. All applicants
are welcome to attend.
The most recent Folk Arts Review
Panel was April 21, 2015.
6/30/15 for FY15
FY15 Final Report
Download WAB Logo
costs of the instructing artistís fee, the supplies and materials needed
during the apprenticeship, and in some cases, travel expenses.
Apprenticeships must involve only authentic traditional folk arts*
that occur in a Wisconsin community* where they have value and a
traditional place. See list
of past and current awardees for examples of such art forms.
Instructing artists should be held in high regard by their peers for their
skill, knowledge, and cultural practice. Apprentices should have some experience
in the proposed or related art form, display motivation to learn deeply about
the art, and care about its perpetuation in the community. Apprentices cannot be
immediate family members under the age of 18. If the nature of the folk art
allows, more than one apprentice may work with the same instructing artist at
Returning applicants are not eligible to apply if they have received an
apprenticeship award for three consecutive years; they may reapply after waiting
one year. First time applicants should have a conversation with WAB staff to
discuss eligibility prior to applying. Contact: Anne Pryor, Folk Arts Specialist,
To be eligible, all applications must be submitted by the next deadline in
March 2016. Submit the electronic application then print the PDF of the
application, obtain all needed signatures, and mail for a postmark no later than
the required deadline. See guidelines for details.
Priority is given to apprenticeships that will help ensure the continuation
of a traditional folk art in the community where it has value and a traditional
Applications to the Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program will be evaluated on the
- traditionality of the art form,
- artistic quality of the instructing artistís work,
- demonstrated commitment and skill of the apprentice,
- shared membership of the instructing artist and apprentice in a
cultural community, and
- feasibility of the proposed work plan.
In addition, priority is given to instruction in art forms that are in danger
of being lost or that help to preserve an endangered language.
The instructing artist is the applicant; a fillable
application is available for download from this website. The application
will ask questions about the instructing artist, the apprentice artist(s),
the art form, its connection to a cultural community, and the work plan. You
will also be asked about your ideas for a final public presentation of the art
created during the apprenticeship, a requirement of the program. You will also
be asked to provide a budget for how you will spend the $3,000.
Along with the application, you will need to send work samples to WAB. This
is supporting material that gives evidence of the master artistís and
apprentice's skills. The application and work samples must be submitted by the
application postmark deadline. Detailed information about the work sample are in
the Guidelines and Application Form.
A folk arts review panel will convene to evaluate the applications and make
funding recommendations. Anyone is allowed to attend these meetings as a silent
observer. The panelís recommendations will be reviewed by the Wisconsin Arts
Board at its May meeting. WAB staff will notify applicants as to how their
application fared following the board meeting.
Awards will be distributed to the instructing artist in two payments:
$2,000 at the start of the apprenticeship and $1,000 after the public project
has been completed and the final report has been accepted by WAB. All funds go
to the instructing artist only, none to the apprentice. For the upcoming
fiscal year FY16, the apprenticeship and public presentation can occur during
the period July 1, 2015 - May 31, 2016. The final report is due thirty days
later, on June 30, 2016.
During the apprenticeship, a WAB folklorist will visit the apprenticeship to
meet the artists, observe the instruction, and document the apprenticeship
with photographs. The instructing artist and apprentice also will be asked
to document the apprenticeship through photos, a diary, or other means.
Resources for Applicants
- FY16 Panel Review Audio Files
- Defined Terms:
- *Community - Communities can be geographic places or groups with
shared ethnicity, language, religion occupation, recreational pursuits, or
- *Fiscal receiver - An artist who works closely with a community
agency may wish to have that agency serve as a fiscal receiver for the award. An
incorporated, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that provides administrative
and financial services to the instructing artist for the apprenticeship is a
- *Traditional folk arts - These are artistic practices that express
a shared aesthetic, heritage or tradition of a community. The art form might be
folk, traditional or classically ethnic. It will have endured through several
generations with creative innovations by skilled masters throughout its history.
It may have been revived after a cultural break due to the efforts of a
Resources for Grant
Updated: Wednesday, July 15, 2015