MIDDLEBURY-Vermont Folklife Center officials announced the continuation of the Vermont Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program for an eighteenth year.
This program was initiated to support Vermont's living cultural heritage and provides stipends of up to $2000 as honoraria and to cover such expenses as materials and travel. Under the auspices of the program, traditional arts such as Yankee fiddling, Abenaki basket making, Franco American singing, and Somali Bantu drum making have received support.
A traditional arts apprenticeship brings teachers and learners together who share a common commitment to keeping these art forms alive. It pairs a master artist who has achieved a high level of expertise in his or her art form with a less-experienced apprentice. The master and apprentice jointly plan when, where, and what they expect to accomplish during the course of the apprenticeship. Apprenticeship schedules reflect the time constraints of both master and apprenticeship and range from short-term, intensive sessions to meetings spread over the course of a year.
With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the over one hundred eighty-three apprenticeships supported during the first 17 years of the program represent a broad spectrum, from the arts of native Abenaki, Yankee, and Franco American regional cultures, to the arts of recent Somali Bantu, Congolese, Tibetan, Bosnian, and Meskhetian refugees.
Information and application forms for the Vermont Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program are available from the Vermont Folklife Center, 88 Main Street, Middlebury 05753, 388-4964 or online at www.vermontfolklifecenter.org
The deadline for applications for this year's program is July 2.