Folk and Traditional Arts
Apprenticeship Grant

FY2021 Guidelines
Application Deadline: March 16, 2020

The Kentucky Arts Council strongly encourages you to read and understand the guidelines before beginning the GoSmart application.

Like all programs of the arts council, the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant is guided by the agency’s core values. Successful applications will embody these core values, and all applicants are strongly encouraged to read and reflect upon them before submitting an application.

Core Values of the Kentucky Arts Council

Grant Purpose

The purpose of the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant is to honor traditional artists and encourage the continuation of Kentucky's living traditional arts by funding master artists to teach skills and practices vital to their cultural heritage to less experienced artists within their communities.


Who May Apply

A master artist 18 or older, and an apprentice 16 or older, apply together. Applicant artists must be full-time residents of Kentucky for a period of one year immediately prior to the application deadline, and remain a resident of Kentucky for one year following award notification. See the In These Mountains section below for a special opportunity for Appalachian regional apprenticeships with Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Applicants must be United States citizens, lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence or have permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.

For information on satisfying these requirements, see Supporting Materials: Proofs of Residency.

In These Mountains

This year, thanks to South Arts’ In These Mountains program, master artists 18 and older living in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) counties in Kentucky may apply to work with an apprentice 16 or older living in ARC counties in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

You must be a current, legal resident of one of the following counties for a period of two years prior to the application due date:

Grant Description

The arts council defines folk arts as artistic expression that is shared informally within a folk group, and is essential to that group’s cultural identity. Folk groups include family, regional, ethnic, occupational and recreational groups. Members of a folk group share aesthetics, insider knowledge, language and a similar worldview. Master artists and tradition-bearers are exemplary practitioners of a folk group’s art forms. Their “master” status is determined by other members of the group. Apprentices demonstrate a potential to become masters and commit to learning the art form thoroughly to represent the group’s culture.

The Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant supports master and apprentice folk artists working and studying together. Prospective master artists and apprentices must apply as partners. Each must demonstrate their connection to the folk group. Apprenticeship grants fund the master artist's stipend, as well as travel expenses and supplies. Apprenticeships last up to one year. All activities and expenses must occur between July 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

Performance Expectations

Your application will be assessed using the following performance expectations.

  1. Excellence of the Master Artist
  1. Excellence of the Apprentice
  1. Apprenticeship Work Plan

You may refer to the Panelist Assessment to better understand how your application will be evaluated.

Grant Amounts

The maximum request for a Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant is $3,000. There is no matching-funds requirement for the apprenticeship grant.


Kentucky Arts Council grant funds may not be used for the following purposes:

No arts council funds may be used to match another grant from the arts council. In addition, the same matching funds may not be used for more than one arts council grant. In some cases, arts council grants may be used to match National Endowment for the Arts or other federal grants. Call staff for clarification before committing funds for such purposes. The arts council also reserves the right to make special stipulations on how specific grant funds may be spent.

How to Apply

The application must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on March 16, 2020. Submissions received after that time will be ineligible for consideration.

Note: The application can take several minutes to upload. As a result, the arts council strongly advises that applicants do not wait until 11:59 p.m. to submit.

Program Timeline

Application deadline

Review of applications by panel

Arts council board reviews panel recommendations

Applicant notification

Use of grant funds may begin

Site visit by Kentucky Arts Council staff

Use of grant funds must conclude

Final Report due
March 16, 2020

May 2020

June 2020

Approximately July 3, 2020

July 15, 2020

Near the midpoint of apprenticeship

June 30, 2021

July 30, 2021

Program Support

The arts council staff will offer the following support to ensure program standards and goals are met:

Supporting Materials

Letter of Support (required)

Include at least one letter of support for the proposed apprenticeship. The letter should be written by a member of the folk group or community, and it should explain why the master artist and apprentice represent artistic excellence based on the community’s aesthetics.

Work Samples (required)

The master artist and apprentice must submit one to three work samples each with their application, for a total of two to six work samples. The panel will rely primarily on the work samples to judge the quality of the applicants' work, so it is important to make careful choices on what to submit. Work samples can be images, audio, video or documents.

Please do not use the GoSmart Manage Work Samples process for this application. Instead, select work samples that are available on the web, or upload image, audio, video or document files to the web, then copy and paste the url (web address) onto the Folk Arts Work Sample Index pdf. This can be done using cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive or MS OneDrive; or using video and audio sites like YouTube and SoundCloud.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Mark Brown at 502-892-3115, or email, for help in choosing work samples.

Proofs of Residency (required)

For proof of residency, both master and apprentice must submit a copy of two of the following at the time of application:

Panel Meeting

A panel of folklorists, arts professionals and other individuals with relevant experience will review all applications according to the performance expectations. Please be aware that panelists may or may not live in Kentucky and may be unfamiliar with the state's organizations, artists and communities.

Arts Council Board Meeting

The panel's recommendations are forwarded to the arts council's governing board for approval.

Grant Agreements

Applicants that receive a favorable recommendation enter into an agreement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Agreements cannot be altered without prior approval from the arts council's appropriate program manager. Grantees are required to promptly notify the arts council in writing of any changes in their grant activity. If grantees do not notify the arts council about changes before they submit a public value report, future funding will be jeopardized. Grants are for the period specified in the approved application. Funds must be spent or committed for activities taking place within the period stated unless an extension has been approved in writing. Expenditure of funds before the period starts is not eligible and must not be included in the budget. Any funds granted but not spent must be returned to the arts council at the conclusion of the grant period.

Grant agreements must be signed and returned within 30 days.

Final Report

All arts council grantees must submit an online final report within 30 days of completion of the grant period. Apprenticeship grant recipients must login again to the GoSmart system, click Current Programs & Applications, scroll to Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant, and click the Final Report link. If a grantee fails to submit the required final report for any grant, the arts council will accept no future applications from the grantee until an acceptable final report is received.


There are no appeals in this program.

For More Information

The arts council welcomes all questions regarding this program, for more information, contact:

Mark Brown
Folk and Traditional Arts Director
888-833-2787 (toll free)


Page last updated: December 13, 2019
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