Wisconsin Arts Board Announces FY24 Folk Arts Apprenticeship Award Recipients

​MADISON, WI (July 11, 2023) –​ The Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB) is pleased to announce this year's twelve​ Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program grant awardees.

Folk Arts Apprenticeships are designed to strengthen and encourage the continuity of Wisconsin's diverse cultural traditions by supporting distinguished traditional artists and tradition bearers in passing their skills and knowledge on to committed and talented apprentices. The award provides $3,500 to each Wisconsin-based practitioner to support their work with the emerging-artist mentee(s) this year.

The FY24 (2023-2024) Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program grant awardees include: Kripa Baskaran, mentor (Brookfield), and apprentices Suraksha Kodgi (Brookfield), Shritha Reddy (Mt. Pleasant), and Rebecca Tharaniyil (New Berlin) for Bharatnatyam (South Indian Classical Dance); Weeya Michelle Calif, mentor (Green Bay), and apprentice Stephenie Muscavitch VanEvery (DePere) for Storytelling/Oral Traditions; Jarrod Dahl, mentor (Ashland), and apprentice Leo Shore (Bayfield) for Spoon Carving and Wood Turning; Wade Fernandez, mentor (Keshena), and apprentice Quintin Fernandez (Awaesaeh Oskas) (Appleton) in Pepikwan (Native American Flute); Estela Alejandra Jimenez, mentor (Milwaukee), and apprentice Daniela Garcia (Milwaukee) for Mexican Folk Dance; Jan Norsetter, mentor (Verona), and apprentice Beth Janetski (Cross Plains) for Norwegian Rosemaling; Nichole Ray, mentor (Eau Claire), and apprentice Caitlin Newago (Eau Claire) for Native American Ribbon Skirts; Pamela Rucinski, mentor (Oshkosh), and apprentice Heather Clark (Sparta) for Norwegian Rosemaling; April Stone, mentor (Odanah), and apprentice Rae Skenandore (Green Bay) for Black Ash Basketry; Lavanyaa Surendar, mentor (Brookfield), and apprentices Srinidhi Chitluri (Brookfield), Chetana Lakshmi Vysangi (Pewaukee), and Sireesha Middela (Brookfield) for Bharatanatyam; Yesica Coria Zavaleta, mentor (Milwaukee), and apprentice Alejandra Jimenez Marvan (Milwaukee) for Corn Husk Sculpture and Decorations; and Julia Weaver, mentor (Madison), and apprentice Renee Dauplaise (Middleton) for Weaving. 

Awards were determined by a panel of cultural leaders and peers, based on the following criteria: the traditionality of the art form; the artistic quality of the mentor artist's work; the demonstrated commitment and skill of the apprentice(s); the shared membership of the instructing artist and apprentice in a cultural community; the feasibility of the proposed work plan; and the urgency of the proposed apprenticeship. The panel recommended the 12 applicants to the WAB board for final approval.

Wisconsin is home to a rich array of cultural traditions carried on by members of its diverse communities –  from the Indigenous peoples on whose homelands the program takes place, to its most recent immigrants. Since 2008, WAB has awarded 173 apprenticeship grants to exemplary artists and practitioners to teach one or more apprentices from their community, encouraging the continued vitality of important traditional art forms.

The Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program is supported with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about the program, visit https://artsboard.wisconsin.gov/Pages/Community/FAA.aspx.

The Wisconsin Arts Board is the state agency which nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, stimulates community and economic development and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage. For more information on the Wisconsin Arts Board, please visit artsboard.wisconsin.gov.