It’s that time of year again. We’ve opened up nominations for our annual Master-Apprentice Artist Award. Now in its seventh year, this award supports Arizona-based traditional artists and culture bearers in passing on their artforms to apprentices. This year SFA will make 10 awards—$5,000 for the Master artist and $500 to the emerging artist—engaged in learning and transmission of traditional knowledge.
Artists are nominated by peers within their community, cultural institutions, apprentices, or by self-nomination. They are selected by a panel and awarded for their knowledge, dedication, and commitment to passing on living traditions from our region and beyond. Applicants include a wide variety of artists, including those working in traditions including, but not limited to:
- Handcrafts: weavers, basket makers, jewelers, mask makers, ritual objects, textile artists
- Occupational folklife: adobe makers, leather workers, ironworkers, foodways workers
- Oral traditions: storytellers, poets
- Performing arts: dancers, vocalists, musicians
“Our program strives to recognize some of the Southwest’s incredible traditional artists,” says Denise Uyehara, Program Manager in Artist Services, “Our 2022 Awardees included artists working in traditional jewelry, leatherwork, dance, song and language from many different cultural backgrounds.”
The Award is supported the Arizona Commission on the Arts through a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) State Partnership Agreement. The program is the first award program of its kind in Arizona. SFA joins over 30 Master-Apprentice award programs across the nation. The program affirms the organization’s commitment to individual heritage-based artists, economic development and the transmission of cultural knowledge.
“Beyond an Award, this program builds knowledge and understanding between artists and the agencies funding the cultural expressions in their communities, these relationships are critical to improve the way we support folklife across the State,” says Leia Maahs, SFA Executive Director.
Nominations are now open. Deadline to nominate artists is May 1, 2023.
Once nominations are received and vetted for meeting program criteria, SFA staff members work one-on-one with each applicant to support their application process. Orientation sessions can also be held as requested by communities or individuals.
For more information, visit https://southwestfolklife.org/master-apprentice-artist-program/ or contact Denise Uyehara, Programs Manager, Artist Services, email@example.com, (520) 230-2807
Photo: Denise Bey, West African dance; Southwest Folklife Alliance 2022 Master-Apprentice Artist Awardee. Photo by Steven Meckler