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Contact: Meredith Beatrice,

Florida Folklife Program Seeks Master Artists and Apprentices

Tallahassee –

Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that the Florida Department of State is seeking applications for the 2016-17 Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program. Expert practitioners of traditional art forms and people with a strong commitment to learning and preserving traditional arts are encouraged to apply.

“For over 30 years, this program has provided opportunities for the state’s finest tradition bearers to pass on valuable skills to the next generation,” said Secretary Detzner. “By sharing traditional knowledge and techniques with students, these artists ensure the preservation of Florida’s rich cultural heritage.”

Master whip maker Calvin “Buddy” Mills teaching apprentice Matthew Dorriety.

Photo by Robert Stone.

The Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program fosters the opportunity for qualified apprentices to study traditional arts with recognized master artists. Traditional arts are expressions of shared community identity that reflect the values and aesthetics of the groups that practice them. Since 1984, the program has supported 181 apprenticeships in a variety of Florida living traditions including performing arts such as Irish fiddling and Spanish flamenco, craft arts such as Seminole patchwork and Hungarian embroidery, occupational arts such as surfboard making and cow-whip making, and ceremonial arts such as Afro-Cuban batá drumming and hymn lining.

The application deadline is May 15, 2016. Interested masters and apprentices must apply as a team by submitting the joint application to the Florida Folklife Program. The Florida Folklife Council will review applications and recommend apprenticeship teams to the Secretary of State for approval. Final decisions will be announced by August. The program provides a stipend and funds for supplies.

Interested applicants should contact State Folklorist Amanda Hardeman by calling 850.245.6427 or 800.847.PAST. Program guidelines and applications can be found at The Folklife Apprenticeship Program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program.

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About the Florida Folklife Program

The Florida Folklife Program, a component of the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources, documents and presents Florida's folklife, folklore and folk arts. The program coordinates a wide range of activities and projects designed to increase the awareness of Floridians and visitors alike about Florida's traditional culture. Established in 1979 by the legislature to document and present Florida folklife, this program is one of the oldest state folk arts programs in the nation. For more information, visit