Saturday, January 16, 2010

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program

I received an email this week from Troyd Geist, Folklorist for the North Dakota Council for the Arts. It's time once again to get in applications for the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. This program provides grants to people interested in learning what are considered "traditional arts". Here in ND these include Dakotah storytelling, Vietnamese embroidery, Czech Easter egg decorating, Armenian copper bas relief work, blacksmithing, saddle construction, German-Russian willow basketry, Hidatsa quillwork, Sudanese music, Norwegian Hardanger embroidery, etc. Grants from this program provide up to $2500, part for materials for the apprentice and part goes to the master who is passing on his knowledge.

I've participated in this program twice in the past as an apprentice saddle maker with Rex Cook from Dickinson as the master. You can see pictures of how we made the first saddle here

and the second saddle here.

This year I am thinking about applying for the program to teach my son how to build a saddle.
Several states have similar programs like this one. Check them out by doing a search for Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program or your state's council for the arts.

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