Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
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“I respected John (Haywood’s) authenticity and how true he was to styles of
eastern Kentucky banjo playing. There were little things he was doing that are specific to the
way the old banjo players in eastern Kentucky were playing. I’m itching to start learning
from him one-on-one.”
Montana Hobbs, apprentice banjo player
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 1, 2016) Three Kentucky master
artists have been awarded Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grants from the Kentucky Arts Council.
The Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant provides up to $3,000 to a Kentucky master folk or traditional artist to teach skills, practices and culture to a less experienced artist from the same community during the course of a year.
The three recipients are folk or traditional artists who are considered masters within their community and who have identified an apprentice from the same community who has potential to become a master. Both master and apprentice must be Kentucky residents.
The masters and apprentices who will receive funding include:
Banjo player Montana Hobbs was inspired to pursue an apprenticeship with master John Haywood
when her bandmate, Linda Jean Stokley, was studying with fiddler Jesse Wells through a Folk
and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant in 2015-16. Together, Hobbs and Stokley make up
the traditional music duo The Local Honeys. They are also the first two female graduates
of Morehead State University’s traditional music undergraduate program.
“Ever since I started playing this kind of music – around 2011 when I picked up banjo – I was listening to Jesse’s old band and to John Haywood. I respected John’s authenticity and how true he was to styles of eastern Kentucky banjo playing. There were little things he was doing that are specific to the way the old banjo players in eastern Kentucky were playing,” Hobbs said. “I’m itching to start learning from him one-on-one.”
Haywood himself has benefited from the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant in the past, as an apprentice of master George Gibson in 2010-11. Haywood is eager to begin working with Hobbs, who he had as a student in a classroom setting.
“She has a real desire and motivation. She has strong technique,” he said. “Her seriousness, wanting to take her talent to the next level and be professional, makes me feel good in giving this knowledge to a fellow Kentuckian. I feel I’m keeping this tradition alive in Kentucky.”
Visit the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant page of the arts council’s website for more information or contact Mark Brown, arts council folk and traditional arts director, at email@example.com or 502-564-8110, ext. 495.
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The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The arts council is celebrating 50 years of service in 2016.