Frequently Asked Questions

May family members apply together?

Pairs of applicants may be of the same family. The purpose of this program is to encourage and support the transmission of cultural knowledge. We recognize that oftentimes this happens within family contexts, and that reasons related to distance, access to resources, or other barriers may inhibit traditional education within a family setting.

May Masters/Apprentices of different ethnic or other cultural backgrounds apply together?

Intercultural applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, using application answers and support materials as guides. Strong support will be required from the Master Artist’s ethnic or other cultural community for the Apprentice (e.g., in a support letter), along with indication from the Master Artist regarding why the Apprentice is appropriate to carry on their community’s tradition.

What do you mean by “community” or “cultural background?”

For the purposes of this program, “community” may refer to groups of individuals who share an ethnicity or nationality, religion, geographic location, occupational heritage, skillset, or other common bond. Individuals may be born into a community (e.g., into a Tribal Nation) or choose to become part of a community (e.g., blacksmiths). Individuals may identify with or participate in the activities of a variety of communities. It will be important for applicants to identify the community or communities their chosen tradition reflects or represents.

“Cultural background,” like community, may mean different things to different people. Here we use the term to refer to shared identity and/or cultural practices associated with a community. Cultural background may refer to ethnicity, but it may be expressed through practices not associated with ethnicity, such as being part of the LGBTQ+ community.

What if the Master Artist I want to work with resides outside of Washington State?

  • Apprentices must reside in Washington State.
  • Master Artists should also reside in Washington. In very rare circumstances the review panel will consider applications with an out-of-state Master Artist (e.g., if a Native tradition bearer is of the same Tribal Nation as the Apprentice, but lives across a state border). However, the Master Artist and Apprentice must be able to meet regularly in-person, for face-to-face education. Both participants must also be available for the in-person workshop and public event.
  • Preference will be given to applications where both the Master Artist and Apprentice reside in Washington State.

Who should write my support letter(s)?

  • Support letters for a Master Artist should demonstrate that they are recognized as a culture bearer within their community. Letters should indicate that the Master Artist is someone who is knowledgeable about the tradition being passed on, and someone who is recognized within their own community as appropriate to teach the tradition.
  • Support letters for an Apprentice should demonstrate that they are dedicated to the apprenticeship and appropriate to learn and, ideally, pass on 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.