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Folk Arts

Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant Program Guidelines

Notice of Intent to Apply: April 15, 2015. Send the applicant's name, mailing address, city, state, zip, daytime telephone number, e-mail address, and the art form for which you are planning to apply. This will assist the NDCA in budgeting program funds, schedule workloads and review panels. Mail this information to the NDCA office, or e-mail it to

Deadline: May 15, 2015 (for project period: July 1, 2015 - April 30, 2016)

Maximum Grant: $2,500

The Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program is designed to honor and encourage the preservation of North Dakota's diverse living traditions by providing grants that allow master traditional artists to pass their skills and knowledge to apprentices on a one-to-one basis over an extended period of time.

Traditional and folk arts are shared expressions of identity within a family, community, region, tribe, ethnic group, occupation, or religion. Forms of traditional expression include craft, technical skill, music, dance, and ritual celebration which are usually passed from one individual to another informally by word of mouth or by example.

The grant awards are to be used for a master artist's instruction fee and the cost of supplies and travel for the apprentice. The length of each apprenticeship will vary according to the proposed work plan, but most apprenticeships last between four and eight months.

Who May Apply? Applicants are encouraged to work with people they already know within their own tribal, ethnic, or occupational group, or neighborhood.


  • Should already possess some skills in the traditional art they wish to study.
  • Must demonstrate a commitment to mastery of the art.
  • Must be a legal resident of North Dakota for at least two years.

Master Artists:

  • Should be among the finest tradition bearers in their respective communities or regions.
  • May be from neighboring states and provinces (since some of North Dakota's ethnic and regional cultural groups extend into those areas).

Application and instructions are available at

Funding Priorities

  • Highest priority will be given for the continuation of rare and endangered art forms.
  • Those teaching/learning more about their own cultural traditions.
  • Apprenticeships involving traditions that have been continuously maintained rather than revived.

Examples of Supported Activities

A person with some experience or knowledge of blacksmithing, saddle making, copper bas relief work, or weaving might want to learn new or decorative techniques by working under a respected master artist. Other applicants might want to refine skills in ethnic fiddling, button accordion playing, or dance, or refine skills in Native American basketry, quillwork, hide tanning, or storytelling.

Apprenticeship grants may also be applied to informal apprenticeships already under way, if such support will foster their continuation. If your needs for apprenticeship funds do not conform with this general framework, please contact the NDCA office at (701) 328-7590 or

Application Review

Applications for apprenticeship awards will be reviewed by a panel and be approved by the NDCA board. Funding is contingent on availability of federal funds.

Final Report

Within 30 days after completion of an apprenticeship and based on the submitted work plan schedule, the master artist and apprentice must fill out a final report form indicating their thoughts on the experience. Participants will be required to give a presentation at an exhibit, festival, school, community center, celebration, or other appropriate public venue.

For more information, contact Troyd Geist at (701) 328-7590 or

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