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Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program

Grants to North Dakota Artists for Apprenticeships
in the Folk and Traditional Art Forms

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North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA)

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Grants of up to $3,000 to North Dakota master artists to train apprentices in traditional and folk art forms. A letter of intent is due prior to the submission of a full application. The purpose of this program is to encourage and honor the preservation of the state’s diverse living traditions. Funding is intended to allow master traditional artists to pass their skills and knowledge to apprentices on a one-to-one basis over an extended period of time.

Traditional and folk arts are shared expressions of identity within a family, community, region, tribe, ethnic group, occupation, or religion. Forms of traditional expression include craft, technical skill, music, dance, and ritual celebration which are usually passed from one individual to another informally by word of mouth or by example.

The grant awards are to be used for a master artist's instruction fee and the cost of supplies and travel for the apprentice. The length of each apprenticeship will vary according to the proposed work plan, but most apprenticeships last between four and eight months.

Highest priority will be given for:
-The continuation of rare and endangered art forms.
-Those teaching/learning more about their own cultural traditions.
-Apprenticeships involving traditions that have been continuously maintained rather than revived.

Examples of Supported Activities:

A person with some experience or knowledge of blacksmithing, saddle making, copper bas relief work, or weaving might want to learn new or decorative techniques by working under a respected master artist. Other applicants might want to refine skills in ethnic fiddling, button accordion playing, or dance, or refine skills in Native American basketry, quillwork, hide tanning, or storytelling.

Apprenticeship grants may also be applied to informal apprenticeships already under way, if such support will foster their continuation. If your needs for apprenticeship funds do not conform with this general framework, please contact the NDCA office.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180910

Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum Grant: $3,000

Term of Contract:

The project period is July 1 - April 30.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants are encouraged to work with people they already know within their own tribal, ethnic, or occupational group, or neighborhood.

-Should already possess some skills in the traditional art they wish to study.
-Must demonstrate a commitment to mastery of the art.
-Must be a legal resident of North Dakota for at least two years.

Master Artists:
-Should be among the finest tradition bearers in their respective communities or regions.
-May be from neighboring states and provinces (since some of North Dakota's ethnic and regional cultural groups extend into those areas).

Council on the Arts Funds May Not be Used For:
- Debt reduction or elimination.
- Capital improvements; purchase or long-term lease of equipment or property.
- Prizes, awards, benefits or hospitality (food, refreshments) costs.
- Fellowships, scholarships, or tuition fees.
- Activities restricted to an organization's membership.
- Travel outside of North Dakota unless specifically stated in the grant application.
- In-school curriculum projects (excluding Arts-in-Education programs) unless they have a local, regional, or state-wide impact.
- Out-of-state touring performances and exhibitions unless specifically stated in the grant application.
- Projects sponsored by or taking place on college or university campuses or religious institutions that ignore non-students or non-members, and do not involve the community at large in the planning, implementation, and performance of the project.
- Projects completed in previous fiscal years.
- Projects for the purpose of fundraising.
- Projects that are part of a required course or curriculum.
- Projects involving the arts as therapy unless professional artists are employed.

Pre-Application Information:

Before applying, the master artist and the apprentice must discuss the apprenticeship goals, schedule (work plan), supplies, and budget. It is strongly recommended that the master and the apprentice discuss the proposal with the North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) Folklorist before completing the application.

A notice of Intent to Apply is due by April 15.

The application deadline is May 15.

General Guidelines:

Application Instructions:

Contact Information:

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

Notice of Intent to Apply should be mailed to the NDCA office or emailed to:
Troyd Geist at

Online Grant System:

North Dakota Council on the Arts
1600 East Century Avenue, Suite 6
Bismarck, ND 58503-0649
(701) 328-7590

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Dakota