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Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeships

Grants to Pennsylvania Master Artists to Train
Apprentices in the Folk and Traditional Arts

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA)

Deadline Date:

04/22/19 Online Submission or Postmarked by Date


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Grants of up to $4,000 to Pennsylvania artists to support apprenticeships of folk or traditional art forms, including both craft and performing traditions. This award enables a master artist and a qualified apprentice to work together over an extended period of time. The apprenticeship will encompass the acquisition of artistry and techniques, as well as the context of the culture.

Folk and Traditional Arts are defined as those artistic traditions characteristic of ethnic, religious, linguistic, occupational, or regional groups. These arts are shaped and shared within families, neighborhoods, and communities. They are passed down from one generation to another and learned through on-going participation in community-based activities, and through observation, practice or apprenticeships with elders and masters rather than through classes, books or other means of institutional instruction.

Preference is given to apprenticeships with a Pennsylvania master artist, but master artists from outside the state may be sought if no master artist in the tradition is available within Pennsylvania. Applications for apprenticeships in folk and traditional arts that have only a few remaining master artists are especially encouraged.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180730

Estimated Size of Grant:

The program makes awards of up to $4,000.

Term of Contract:

Each grant award provides funding over a one-year period: September 1, 2019 - August 31, 2020.

NOTE: Applications for second-year apprenticeships must demonstrate what the apprentice learned in the first year, as well as clearly define what new skills or repertoire will be learned in the second or subsequent year.

Apprenticeships may receive a maximum of four grant awards.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The master artist and the apprentice must apply together, with the master artist being the applicant (if the master artist is a Pennsylvania resident).

Apprenticeships only fund living artistic traditions that are shaped and shared within families, neighborhoods, and communities. The art form must be part of the current life of citizens residing in Pennsylvania.

The program does not fund the following activities:
-Staged productions or representations of historical folk arts.
-Reproductions of historic objects that are no longer in use.
-Ongoing classes where a master artist instructs in a classroom situation. o Production or marketing of crafts and other forms that are not part of the living heritage of particular communities.
- Production or marketing of crafts and other forms that are not part of the living heritage of particular communities.

A Master Artist must:
-Demonstrate excellence within his or her artistic tradition.
-Be held in high regard for his or her skill, knowledge and cultural practice by his or her community through formal or informal recognition.

An Apprentice must:
-Demonstrate interest and basic competency in the art form prior to the apprenticeship (generally at least one year of relevant experience).
-Be at least 18 years of age.
-Demonstrate a commitment to learning and maintaining the nuances of the tradition.
-Demonstrate a commitment to preserving the art form beyond the end of the apprenticeship period.

Pennsylvania Residency Requirement -- Apprentices must be domiciled (living at a permanent legal residence) in Pennsylvania at least two years prior to the application deadline. Master artists may be from outside Pennsylvania if there is no suitable master living in the Commonwealth. In such event, the apprentice will be the applicant.

PCA funds may not be used for the following:
-Capital expenditures, including equipment costing $500 or more per item;
-Activities for which academic credit is given;
-Activities that have already been completed;
-Activities that have a religious purpose;
-Cash prizes and awards;
-Benefit activities;
-Hospitality expenses, i.e. receptions, parties, gallery openings;
-Payments to lobbyists;
-Performances and exhibitions.

Pre-proposal Conference:

February - March: Grant workshops/Technical Assistance activities provided by Folk Arts Centers.

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline for Application and Supplemental Materials is April 22, 2019.

If you would like feedback on your application before you submit, please contact your Regional Folk Arts Partner or Dana Payne, Folk Arts Program Director at (717) 525-5544 or to review your draft before April 5, 2019.

Partner organizations can be found here:

- February: Guidelines Distributed
-February - March: Grant workshops/Technical Assistance activities provided by Folk Arts Centers
-April 22: Application Deadline (online or postmarked)
-June: Application Review Panel
-July: Action on Panel Recommendations by PCA Council
-August: Notification Letters to Applicants
-September 1: 2019: Apprenticeship Activities can begin (pending final state budget approval)
-August 31, 2020: Apprenticeship period ends

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit your full application via email to

To submit a hard copy application with supporting materials by mail, use the following address and notify Dana Payne via email (above) or telephone (717-525-5544):

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
Folk and Traditional Apprenticeship Program
Room 216, Finance Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania