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Grants to Arizona Master Artists and Apprentices to Foster the Continuity of Traditional Art Forms

Master-Apprentice Artist Award Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Southwest Folklife Alliance Inc
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Geographic Focus
USA: Arizona

Important Dates
Deadline: 05/01/23 5:00 PM MST Save

Grant Description
Grants to Arizona established and emerging artists to promote the preservation and maintenance of cultural practices. Funding is intended to help experienced artists and experts in cultural traditions train apprentices in traditional and folk art forms. Grants can be used to help cover artist fees, offset costs of raw materials, and support essential travel.

The Master-Apprentice Artist Award provides direct support for master traditional artists living in Arizona to pass on art, culture, and heritage practices to apprentice learners. The goal of this award is to strengthen the transmission of community-based traditions throughout the Southwestern United States.

The Master-Apprentice Artist supports a master artist or tradition bearer to work with a qualified apprentice (or group of apprentices) to engage in a teaching-learning relationship that includes one-on-one mentorship and hands-on experience. The highest priority is to support apprentices to learn from master artists within their own cultural traditions.

Applicants include a wide variety of artists, including those working in traditions including, but not limited to:

  • Handcrafts: weavers; basket makers; jewelers; makers of masks, ritual objects, textiles
  • Occupational folklife: adobe makers, leather workers, ironworkers, foodways workers
  • Oral traditions: storytellers, poets
  • Performing arts: dancers, vocalists, musicians.

The program supports art forms that orient primarily to the transmission and preservation of traditional, heritage-based practices learned informally and most importantly, that are embedded and are reflective of a group/community’s identity and cultural expression repertoire.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
- Applicants (master artists and apprentices) must reside in Arizona.
- Applicants must be United States citizens, lawful permanent residents, or have permission from the U.S. Department of Immigration to work in the United States. Full-time residents of Arizona for a minimum of one full year, and at least 18 years of age. Recipients must remain residents of Arizona for the duration of the grant year.
- Practitioners are generally part of the same cultural community, with a focus on informally taught traditions rather than formal instruction or institutional education.
- Apprentices must be at an intermediate level in the art form. They must be at least 16 years of age unless they are immediate family members of the applicant.

Apprentices should be able to demonstrate the following
- A minimum of intermediate-level experience in the art form.
- A high level of potential to become a master artist themselves and a
commitment to the demands of the apprenticeship.
- Priorities are given to masters and apprentices within the same cultural community, as well as to underrepresented traditional art forms with few remaining local practitioners.

Funds may NOT be used for presenting/touring or artistic project work that does not clearly articulate the apprentices’ educational component.

Pre-Application Information
Program Timeline
- March 1, 2023 – Nominations open
- May 1, 2023, 5 pm MST – Nomination deadline
- May 15 – Invitation to Full Application
- July 15 - Full Application Deadline
- August 30 – Award Notification
- October 31 - Award disbursement
- SFA staff site visits in 2024

Artists are first nominated by peers within their community, cultural institutions, apprentices, or by self-nomination. SFA then invite nominees to apply based on their mastery of artform, their ability to describe how that form has been recognized by their cultural community, and their ability to share traditional knowledge.

An artist is eligible to receive a maximum of three (3) awards over a fifteen-year span, terminally.

Estimated Size of Grant
Traditional artists & culture bearers receive a $5,000; apprentices receive $500.

Term of Contract
One year.

Contact Information
Online Nomination Form:

For questions and concerns please contact:
Denise Uyehara

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