2023 Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program (Asistencia Disponible En Español)

Important Dates 
Application Open: March 3, 2023 
Application Deadline Extended: April 30, 2023 at 11:59 PM 
Award Notification: June 2023 
For apprenticeships taking place July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024 


Para recibir asistencia con la solicitud del Programa de Aprendizaje de Artes Patrimoniales (HAAP, por sus siglas en inglés), por favor comuníquese con Violeta Martin, violeta@humanities.org, 206-682-1770 x111.

About the Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program  
Washington State is home to a rich collection of cultural traditions carried on by members of its many communities—from the Indigenous peoples in whose homelands this program takes place, to its most recent immigrants. Practitioners of these traditions enliven and enrich the cultural heritage of both their specific communities and the state as a whole.  

Folk and traditional arts and practices are the bedrock of artistic and cultural communities. They provide meaningful ways for individuals to connect with their past, and build bridges to others and their surroundings in the present. Because these practices are often learned informally in a one-on-one setting, they often don’t have the same infrastructure for learning and teaching as other art forms. 

The Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program supports individuals seeking to preserve traditional practices important to their community, heritage, and identity. These may include music, dance, visual arts, language practices, verbal arts, traditional skills, foodways, occupational arts, storytelling and much more. They are learned within communities that share family, ethnic, tribal, regional, occupational, or religious identity. The program provides a supportive mentoring environment, networking opportunities, as well as important professional and leadership skills.  
Humanities Washington and ArtsWA are pleased to co-sponsor the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions and its Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program, with significant support from the Washington State Legislature. To date, over 100 people have participated in the program. Read about previously funded teams here and learn more at www.waculture.org.   

How does the Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program work? 
Master Artists and Apprentice(s) work together over the course of one year to teach and learn skills related to a tradition in their community to preserve and cultivate it for future generations.  

 Applicants commit to spending at least 100 hours of one-on-one time together during the program year (July 2023 – June 2024).  

What do participants gain? 
The Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program helps maintain important cultural traditions and practices in Washington State. The program provides a supportive mentoring environment, networking opportunities, as well as important professional and leadership skills. Apprentices may also gain expertise in collaboration, creative thinking, and organization—helpful skills for building careers in a variety of sectors.  

Master Artists receive a $4,000 honorarium for their work and Apprentices receive $1,000. Master Artists may also request up to $1,000 for materials. All funds provided will be subject to federal taxation.  

Half of the funds are distributed at the beginning of the program year upon receipt of a signed contract. The remaining half of the award is disbursed upon successful completion of the program, including a site visit with CWCT staff, and submitting a final evaluation.  

All current residents of Washington State are eligible and encouraged to apply. Master Artists and Apprentices must apply as existing teams; that is, the CWCT will not pair Master Artists and Apprentices. At least one team member must be a Washington resident in order to be eligible. 

Master Artists and Apprentices may be from the same family. Intercultural applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, using application answers and support materials as guides. In these cases, it is important to submit strong support letters from the Master Artist’s ethnic or other cultural community for the Apprentice, along with indication from the Master Artist regarding why the Apprentice is appropriate to carry on their community’s tradition. 

Master Artists who served within the last two cohorts are not eligible to apply in the 2023-24 cycle. 

Who is considered a Master Artist? 
A Master Artist is an expert steeped in a tradition, craft, or technique. They are a “tradition bearer” or “culture keeper” endowed with the right to carry and pass on a tradition or skill, by formal training or acknowledgement and respect of their peers and community members related to the tradition outlined in the application.  
“Artist” may be broadly defined to include masters of:  

  • Foodways and culinary arts (e.g., horticulture, traditional cooking techniques and foods, canning and preservation, beverage making)  
  • Fiber and textile arts (e.g., fiber dyeing, weaving, quilting)  
  • Occupational arts (e.g., blacksmithing, stone carving, woodworking, leather work, boatbuilding, furniture making, sign painting, dress making)  
  • Rare and endangered languages 
  • Visual arts (e.g., classical Indian painting, tribal carving, Mexican folk painting)  
  • Performing arts (e.g., music, dance, storytelling, spoken word)  

The tradition should be a form of expression related to and rooted in community identity and heritage. The tradition does not need to have originated in Washington.  

Who is considered an Apprentice? 
An Apprentice is an individual that will learn a skill or tradition from a Master Artist and make a commitment to carrying it on after the apprenticeship program. The Apprentice may be novice or may have some previous training but is now seeking additional, direct training from a Master Artist.  

Participant Responsibilities  

  • Regular Meetings – Participants meet in-person over the course of one year and according to the Plan of Work submitted as part of their application.  
  • Site Visit – CWCT staff will conduct a site visit to document progress midway through the year. Participants will be asked to sign release forms consenting to documentation and may opt out of certain aspects if necessary (for example, if recordings should not be created of certain practices due to their religious or spiritual significance).  
  • Showcase – Teams will design a showcase of their work in conversation with CWCT staff. This could involve participation in the Washington Traditional Arts Summit, a CWCT-hosted gathering for teams to share their traditions.  
  • Evaluation – Participants will be required to complete a brief evaluation form to assess progress made, skills learned, and value of participating in the program.  

Traditional Arts Summit 
Contingent on funding, the CWCT will host a Traditional Arts Summit in the late spring/ early summer for teams to gather and share their traditions. Additional funds will be provided to offset the cost of travel to the summit. Participation is not required. 

Application Review Criteria 
A panel of reviewers from across the state and with expertise in a range of traditional art forms will evaluate applications on the following criteria: 

  • Relevance and importance of the tradition to the cultural history of a community/ communities in Washington State 
  • Expertise of the Master Artist  
  • Demonstrated level of commitment by the Master Artist and the Apprentice(s) to the apprenticeship, and appropriateness of the Apprentice(s)  
  • Potential impact of the apprenticeship on the continued vitality of the tradition, and/or the vitality of the community from which it comes 
  • Feasibility of the Plan of Work  
  • Washington State geographic area represented  

The CWCT is committed to equitable grantmaking and considers geographic diversity, audience diversity, and the importance of reaching underrepresented communities in its funding decisions. Due to limited funds, not all eligible applicants may receive funding. 

After award notifications are announced, applicants may request a summary of reviewer comments about their application.  

Application Assistance and Draft Review 
CWCT staff can aid in completing the application, offer feedback on a completed application draft, and answer questions. To allow sufficient time for feedback, drafts should be submitted by early April 2023.  

Apply for the Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program 
The HAAP application is available via our grants portal.  We encourage Master Artists and Apprentices to submit their application together.  

Application materials include (required unless otherwise noted):  

  • Master Artist contact information and responses to questions about the tradition/skill to be taught, experience, relationship to Apprentice(s), and goals of apprenticeship 
  • Apprentice contact information and responses to questions about the tradition/skill to be learned, relationship to Master Artist, and goals of apprenticeship (please contact CWCT staff if you wish to apply with more than two apprentices)  
  • Parent/Guardian contact information (only for apprentices under 18 years of age) 
  • Plan of Work  
  • Budget (optional)  
  • 2 work samples that showcase the Master Artist and/or Apprentice’s experience in this tradition  
  • 1 letter of support for Master Artist (2 letters maximum)  
  • 1 letter of support for Apprentice (optional) 
  • Master Artist and/or Apprentice Honors and Awards (optional)  

Master Artists may request up to $1,000 for costs related to the apprenticeship. Requested funds are often used for (but not limited to) materials, supplies, and travel.  

Work Samples 
Digital images are encouraged over hard-copy photographs. Hard copy work samples can be mailed to: 

Center for Washington Cultural Traditions 
130 Nickerson St. Suite 304 
Seattle, WA 98109  

If you would like to submit large video and/or audio files, please upload the files online and submit a web link in the application. CDs may be sent to the address above. Please do not email large files.  

Letters of Support 
Support letters for a Master Artist should demonstrate they are recognized as a culture bearer within their community. They should indicate the Master Artist is knowledgeable about and recognized within their own community as someone appropriate to teach the tradition/skill. Support letters for an Apprentice should demonstrate they are dedicated to the apprenticeship and appropriate to learn and continue the tradition.  

Letters may come from community leaders such as Tribal elders, fellow folk artists of a particular genre, the Master Artist’s teacher, religious leaders, or others who are themselves of, and knowledgeable about, the culture represented. 

Thomas Grant Richardson (he/him) 
CWCT Director 
206-682-1770 x107  

Violeta Martin (she/her/ella) – Hablo español 
Grant and Outreach Manager  
206-682-1770 x 111 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Gail P Chism says:

    Please make this to share on facebook.

    1. waculture says:

      The announcement was shared on Facebook though our page as well as those from Humanities Washington and ArtsWA.

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