The Virginia Folklife Program, a public program of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, is the state center for the documentation, presentation, and support of Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. For more than twenty-five years, the program has documented the Commonwealth’s music and material traditions and shared those histories through hands-on workshops, performances, exhibitions, audio and video recordings, and apprenticeships across Virginia.
The Folklife Apprenticeship pairs an experienced master artist with an eager apprentice for a one-on-one, nine month learning experience, in order to help ensure that a particular art form is passed on in ways that are conscious of history and faithful to tradition. The apprenticeships are more than workshops or lessons. The apprentices learn their chosen craft not in classrooms or lecture halls, but in their traditional contexts, calling upon the complete engagement of the senses, and a deeper appreciation for the many ways in which the traditional art form operates within its larger cultural landscape.