Apprenticeship Program

The Washington State Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program supports individuals interested in learning a traditional trade, craft, or skill. It encourages communities to carry on cultural traditions important to their heritage and identity. These traditions include skills and techniques related to occupational arts, storytelling and other verbal arts, dance, culinary traditions, music, and much more.

In addition to supporting the transmission of cultural knowledge, the Apprenticeship Program also teaches important job skills and acts, in part, as an economic development tool.

How does this work?

Master Artists or other Tradition Bearers – that is, culture keepers willing to act as mentors – apply to be part of the program with a dedicated Apprentice. If selected, the pair work on teaching/learning skills related to a tradition in their community, conserving that tradition for future generations. Each selected pair receives funding to offset costs related to supplies and travel, and to honor teaching time.

In addition to one-on-one time spent teaching and learning new skills, each pair participates in at least one skill-building workshop where they learn to navigate the business side of the arts and heritage industry.

The Apprenticeship Program culminates with an opportunity for pairs to share their traditions in a public event at the end of the program year (which runs each July through June).

Interested in applying to be part of the program? Check back in January 2019 for 2019-2020 program guidelines, or read 2018’s guidelines here.

Meet the 2018-2019 Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program Participants!




The Washington State Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program is funded through the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and funding from the Washington State Legislature through ArtsWA/the Washington State Arts Commission.

(Photo: Learning to tie nautical knots. Photo by Dale Chumbley via Flickr)