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Contact: Sarah Revell
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Secretary Detzner Announces 2018 Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program Artists


Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today the selection of six traditional artists to serve in the 2018 Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program. The chosen artists are DeVaughan Woodside (Lake Mary), Junkanoo costume design; Leonidas Zafiris (Holiday), Greek outi; Shaila Sateesh (Sarasota), bharatanatyam; Betty Ford-Smith (Sebring), pine cone quilting; Dany Illas (Miami), Afro-Cuban song; and Lepoleon Williams (Pensacola), mbira making.

“Since 1984, the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program has supported 191 apprenticeships in a variety of traditional art forms,” said Secretary Detzner. “This year’s artists truly represent the diversity of Florida’s living cultural heritage and are committed to preserving folk arts through their apprenticeship.”


Junkanoo artist DeVaughan Woodside performing with Junkanoo Near You. Photo courtesy of Woodside.

The Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program fosters the preservation of the state’s folk and traditional arts by supporting masters who pass their knowledge, skills, stories and techniques on to apprentices. Traditional arts are expressions of shared community identity that reflect the values and aesthetics of the groups that practice them. Traditional arts include a wide range of creative forms such as custom, belief, technical skill, language, art, music, dance and ritual. These arts are typically learned informally and are maintained and perpetuated without formal instruction. As part of the program, master artists work intensively with one or more apprentices during a period of up to eight months. Program support consists of honoraria to the masters and apprentices to cover expenses for lessons and supplies.

To apply for the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program, master artists should be known in their community as expert practitioners of a living traditional art form that is considered a valued aspect of that community’s folklife. The Florida Folklife Program defines folklife as the living traditions that are currently practiced and passed down by word of mouth, imitation or observation over time and space within groups or communities. Each apprentice must have demonstrated an aptitude for, and a commitment to, the art form which he or she wishes to study and an involvement with the cultural community that sustains the tradition. The next deadline for applications to the Folklife Apprenticeship Program is May 15, 2018.

The Florida Folklife Program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program. To apply for the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program visit our website or contact the Florida Folklife Program at 850.245.6427.




About the Florida Department of State’s 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, the program is one of the oldest state folk arts programs in the nation. For more information, visit