Offered annually, Folklife Apprenticeships support traditional arts education by funding a master and learner folk artist to work together for as long as one year.

During the grant period, the master artist passes down her or his knowledge to the learner.

Folklife Apprenticeships support living cultural traditions and are distinct from registered apprenticeships offered through the Maryland Apprenticeship Training Program (MATP), which supports workforce development. Click here for more information on MATP.

Applicants who are eligible for Folklife Apprenticeships are traditional artists who have resided in Maryland for at least six months.

Master artists should be able to demonstrate vital contributions to a particular living cultural tradition in Maryland.

Learner artists should be able to demonstrate some prior experience, a basic level of skill,  and a commitment to long-term learning in a particular traditional art.

Applications require complete narrative information, with the option to submit supplemental materials. A completed application consists of the following components:

  • Answers to prompts soliciting:
    • A description of the cultural history and current community practice of the traditional art in the proposed Folklife Apprenticeship
    • Biographical information for both the master and learner artists
  • A work plan including the logistical, financial, and cultural details of the proposed Folklife Apprenticeship
  • Optional supplemental materials that demonstrate the suitability of the applicants to complete the proposed Folklife Apprenticeship, including written materials and audiovisual materials

Applications offer the option of uploading an audio or video recording answering the narrative questions. This option is intended to benefit applicants who prefer communicating verbally to submitting written materials. Instructions for uploading application recordings are included in SmartSimple.

See the Grant Guidelines for detailed information

Upon execution of grant agreement, payment will be processed for receipt in 6-8 weeks. Grantees are required to submit a final report at the completion of the funded project. For detailed reporting requirements, please see the Grant Guidelines.

Grantees are required to submit a brief report detailing the use of funds at the end of each fiscal year. 

See the Grant Guidelines for detailed information.

A complete list of previous grantees can be found in this research guide from the Maryland Traditions ArchivesPrevious grantees include (roster formatted as [Master artist] & [Learner artist]”: [Tradition]):


  • Samia Mahbub Ahmad & Abraar Rafi Ahmad: Hindustani classical music
  • Karen Ashbrook & Chao Tian: American hammered dulcimer music
  • Pablo de Oliveira & Ana Cecilia Rocha: Brazilian cavaco music
  • Janice Greene & Naomi Reid: Black storytelling
  • Gwen Handler & Winnie Dreier: Wool work
  • Gertie Hurley & Shannon Jordan: Black doll making
  • John Iampieri & Michael Seipp: Baltimore screen painting
  • Deborah Kinsey & Brenda A. Lorick: African American community quilt making
  • Randy Rosso & Stephen Bloom: Bata (Afro-Cuban) drumming
  • Darab Behnam Shabahang & Mahvash Vatankhahi: Persian classical vocal music
  • Kate Spanos & Becky Hill: Irish step dancing
  • Catherine Wooten & Suzanne Coley: Sharecropper-style quilting
  • Dede Wyland & Jonathan Vocke: Bluegrass and country vocals


  • Peter Arteaga & Pablo de Oliveira: Cape Verdean music
  • Marquis “Mighty Mark” Gasque & Torian Sanders: Baltimore Club music
  • Julia Gutiérrez-Rivera & Xiomara Rivera: Puerto Rican bomba and plena percussion and dance
  • Amadou Kouyate & Jacquelyn Clemmons: Manding (West African) music
  • Deepak Ram & Nistha Raj: Hindustani music
  • Gerald Rameau & Gary Aime: Haitian drumming
  • Rickie Simpkins & Abigail Hobart: Bluegrass fiddle
  • Rich Smoker & Larry Beauchamp: Decoy carving
  • Ralph Zotigh & Dennis Zotigh: Native American powwow singing