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Contact: Meredith Beatrice

Florida Folklife Program Seeks Master Artists and Apprentices


Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that the Florida Department of State is seeking applications for the 2017-2018 Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program. Expert practitioners of traditional art forms and persons with a strong commitment to learning and preserving traditional arts are encouraged to apply.

“For more than 30 years, the Folklife Program has worked with folk artists and tradition bearers to preserve valuable aspects of culture through the Folklife Apprenticeship Program,” said Secretary Detzner. “Through in-depth, one-on-one apprenticeships, these master artists share traditional knowledge, skills and techniques, and ensure the preservation of our collective cultural heritage.”


Master balsa wood surfboard maker George Robinson with apprentice Cristian Robinson. Photo by Amanda Hardeman.


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 185 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 hymn lining and Afro-Cuban batá drumming.

The application deadline is May 15, 2017. 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