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Contracts to California Mentor Artists to Train Apprentices in Traditional Arts

Apprenticeship Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Alliance for California Traditional Arts
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Geographic Focus
USA: California

Important Dates
Deadline: 05/03/23 Save

Grant Description
Contracts of $3,000 to California mentor artists to train apprentices in traditional arts. Applications must be jointly submitted by a mentor and apprentice artist. Eligible expenses include supplies, artist's fees, and travel. Previously funded art forms include Bulgarian and Romani wedding music, traditional Chinese wushu, leatherworking, and basketweaving.

The Apprenticeship Program encourages the continuity of the state’s thriving traditional arts and cultures by contracting mentor artists to offer intensive, one-on-one training to qualified apprentices. Each contract will support a period of concentrated learning, from 6 months to a year, for apprentices who demonstrate a committed engagement with, and a talent for, a specific traditional art form or cultural practice.

If selected for an Apprenticeship, ACTA enters into a contract with the mentor artist and apprentice to implement the work plan proposed in the application. The apprenticeship program period may last between six months to one year, in which ACTA staff will work closely with the apprenticeship pair to gauge and document progress and offer assistance and support. 

Review Criteria:

  • Traditionality of the art form
  • Artistic quality of the mentor artist’s work
  • Demonstrated commitment and developed skill of the apprentice
  • Shared membership of the mentor artist and apprentice in a cultural community (family, heritage, occupation, tribe, religion, etc.) 
  • Feasibility of the proposed work plan and timetable
  • Urgency (for endangered art forms) 


Additional Eligibility Criteria
- Mentor artist and apprentice must apply together. For this online application, it is recommended that1 person (either Mentor or Apprentice) take the lead on submitting application materials on behalf of their team.
- Mentor artist must be authorized to work in the United States and be able to receive payments directly.
- Both applicants must be California residents.

Apprentices applying for this program should already have a background in the artistic tradition as a practitioner.

Please Note: Current employees at ACTA classified as “Temporary” (i.e., teaching artists in prisons) may apply and receive the Apprenticeship, however, those with ongoing employment classified as “Regular” employees are not eligible.

Ineligible Apprenticeships:
- Contemporary studio crafts or the reproduction of antiques
- Recreations of historic or village folk traditions that attempt to reenact lifestyles from the distant past
- 2022 Apprenticeship Program participants

Pre-Application Information
The 2023 online application will open in early March, and applications are due May 3, 2023.

ACTA staff review submitted applications for eligibility in the spring and summer. Eligible applications go forward to an external review panel early summer. Applications recommended for funding are approved by ACTA’s Board in the summer.

All applicants will be notified if they received the Apprenticeship by July.

Only one application is allowed per mentor artist and/ or apprentice (e.g., mentor artist is not allowed to submit multiple applications, each with a different apprentice, nor can a person apply as an apprentice in one application and then as a mentor artist in another).

Information session recording:

Estimated Size of Grant
Contracts of $5,000 will be made.

Term of Contract
The 2023 Apprenticeship will support activities between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.

The apprenticeship must total at least six months from the beginning of the contract period, but may last up to one year, depending on the conditions of the particular mentorship.

Contact Information
Apply online:

For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Joy Jameson, Program Manager

For technical support, contact

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