FY2024 Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant

Application Deadline: March 31, 2023

Grant Purpose

The purpose of the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant is to honor traditional artists and encourage the continuation of Kentucky's living traditional arts by funding mentor artists to teach skills and practices vital to their cultural heritage to less experienced artists within their communities.


  • To provide an opportunity for the apprentice to advance toward excellence in the folk art form.
  • To support the recognition and continuation of Kentucky cultural traditions.

Who May Apply

A mentor artist 21 or older, and an apprentice 16 or older, apply together. Applicant artists must be full-time residents of Kentucky for a period of one year immediately prior to the application deadline, and remain a resident of Kentucky for one year following award notification. Applicants must be United States citizens, lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence or have permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.

For information on satisfying these requirements, see Supporting Materials: Proofs of Residency.

The Kentucky Arts Council strongly encourages you to read and understand the guidelines before beginning the GoSmart application. Like all programs of the arts council, the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant is guided by the agency's core values. Successful applications will embody these core values, and all applicants are strongly encouraged to read and reflect upon them before submitting an application.

Core Values of the Kentucky Arts Council

Grant Description

The arts council defines folk arts as artistic expression that is shared informally within a folk group, and is essential to that group's cultural identity. Folk groups include family, regional, ethnic, occupational and recreational groups. Members of a folk group share aesthetics, insider knowledge, language and a similar worldview. Mentor artists and tradition-bearers are exemplary practitioners of a folk group's art forms. Their mentor status is determined by other members of the group. Apprentices demonstrate a potential to become mentors and commit to learning the art form thoroughly to represent the group's culture.

The Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant supports mentor and apprentice folk artists working and studying together. Prospective mentor artists and apprentices must apply as partners. Each must demonstrate their connection to the folk group. Apprenticeship grants fund the mentor artist's stipend, as well as travel expenses and supplies. Apprenticeships last up to one year. All activities and expenses must occur between July 15, 2023, and June 30, 2024.

Performance Expectations

Your application will be assessed using the following performance expectations.

  1. Excellence of the Mentor Artist
    • Mentor artist's practice of the traditional art form was learned in the folk community.
    • Mentor artist's work samples demonstrate artistic excellence as defined by the community.
    • Mentor artist demonstrates an effective teaching plan based on apprentice's potential.
  2. Excellence of the Apprentice
    • Apprentice's current skills in the traditional art form were learned in the community.
    • Apprentice's work samples demonstrate potential excellence and representation of the traditional art form.
    • Apprentice's capacity to share the traditional art form within the community and beyond.
  3. Apprenticeship Work Plan
    • Work plan will advance the apprentice toward excellence in the art form with appropriate schedule of sessions and locations.
    • Work plan addresses how the mentor artist will teach knowledge, techniques and stories about the art form to the apprentice.
    • Plans for both the mentor artist and apprentice to document progress during the apprenticeship experience.
    • Plans for the mentor artist and apprentice to share the traditional art form with their community or the public.

You may refer to the Panelist Assessment to better understand how your application will be evaluated.

Grant Amounts

The maximum request for a Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant is $4,000. There is no matching-funds requirement for the apprenticeship grant.


Kentucky Arts Council grant funds may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Purchase of equipment, property, library holdings or acquisitions.
  • Capital improvements, facility construction, structural renovations and restorations.
  • Publications or recordings for commercial purposes.
  • Scholarships or other activities related to academic credit or degrees.
  • Activities intended primarily for fundraising.
  • Food, beverages or other refreshments.
  • Requests designed to reduce or eliminate existing deficits.
  • Interest on loans, fines, penalties and/or litigation costs.
  • Expenses incurred before the starting date of the period covered in the grant request.
  • Investments of any kind.
  • Performances not available to the general public.
  • Programs that have sectarian purposes.
  • Costs such as utility bills (water, electric, gas); non-project (permanent/current) staff salaries or benefits; and rental for currently owned or leased properties (office space or other facilities, car payments and maintenance).
  • Indirect costs unless 1) per a current federally-negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (official documentation required), or 2) “de minimus” indirect costs not to exceed 10 percent of total modified direct costs.
  • The application of new artistic work to historic buildings or structures unless approved by the state historic preservation office as being in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (contact the Kentucky Heritage Council at 502-564-7005 or

No arts council funds may be used to match another grant from the arts council. In addition, the same matching funds may not be used for more than one arts council grant. In some cases, arts council grants may be used to match National Endowment for the Arts or other federal grants. Call staff for clarification before committing funds for such purposes. The arts council also reserves the right to make special stipulations on how specific grant funds may be spent.

How to Apply

  • Carefully review the grant guidelines.
  • Go to and login or create an individual profile. (The arts council recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox to complete an application. Store your username and password in an accessible place to ensure that you can login to your account later.)
  • After login, click Current Programs & Applications. Find Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant and click START.
  • Complete each section, including artist information, budget, narrative, work plan, support letter, work samples and proofs of residency. Click “Save Work” at the bottom as you complete each section.
  • When everything is complete, click the Final Submission checkbox and the Submit button.

The application must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on March 31, 2023. Submissions received after that time will be ineligible for consideration.

Note: The application can take several minutes to upload. As a result, the arts council strongly advises that applicants do not wait until 11:59 p.m. to submit.

Grant Timeline

Application deadline

March 31, 2023

Review of applications by panel

May 2023

Arts council board reviews panel recommendations

June 2023

Applicant notification Approximately

July 1, 2023

Use of grant funds may begin

July 15, 2023

Site visit by Kentucky Arts Council staff

Near the midpoint of apprenticeship

Use of grant funds must conclude

June 30, 2024

Final report due

July 30, 2024

Program Support

The arts council staff will offer the following support to ensure program standards and goals are met:

  • Assistance from arts council program directors in selecting appropriate program categories, and in answering questions about programs.
  • Consultation regarding applicant eligibility, competitiveness for funding, budget issues, etc.
  • Referrals to potential partners for programs.

Supporting Materials

Letter of Support (required)

Include at least one letter of support for the proposed apprenticeship. The letter should be written by a member of the folk group or community, and it should explain why the mentor artist and apprentice represent artistic excellence based on the community's aesthetics.

Work Samples (required)

The mentor artist and apprentice must submit one to three work samples each with their application, for a total of two to six work samples. The panel will rely primarily on the work samples to judge the quality of the applicants' work, so it is important to make careful choices on what to submit. Work samples can be images, audio, video or documents.

You may select work samples that are available on the web, or upload image, audio, video or document files to the web. This can be done using cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive; or using video and audio sites like YouTube and SoundCloud. You can then copy and paste the URLs (web addresses) of each sample into a single work samples index document.

Include the following information about each sample:
Title, mentor’s or apprentice’s role in the creation of the work, date or dates created, and suggested start/end times for video and audio if necessary.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Mark Brown at 502-892-3115, or email, for help with work samples.

Proofs of Residency (required)

For proof of residency, both mentor and apprentice must email a copy of two of the following at the time of application:

  • State driver's license, which includes the date issued and expiration date or State identification card, which includes the date issued and expiration date
  • Voter registration verification (Kentucky voter registration can be downloaded from the State Board of Elections' Voter Information Center website at
  • State income tax forms for the most recent year (dollar amounts may be marked out)

Panel Meeting

A panel of folklorists, arts professionals and other individuals with relevant experience will review all applications according to the performance expectations. Please be aware that panelists may or may not live in Kentucky and may be unfamiliar with the state's organizations, artists and communities.

Arts Council Board Meeting

The panel's recommendations are forwarded to the arts council's governing board for approval.

Grant Agreements

Applicants that receive a favorable recommendation enter into an agreement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Agreements cannot be altered without prior approval from the arts council's appropriate program manager. Grantees are required to promptly notify the arts council in writing of any changes in their grant activity. If grantees do not notify the arts council about changes before they submit a final report, future funding will be jeopardized. Grants are for the period specified in the approved application. Funds must be spent or committed for activities taking place within the period stated unless an extension has been approved in writing. Expenditure of funds before the period starts is not allowed and must not be included in the budget. Any funds granted but not spent must be returned to the arts council at the conclusion of the grant period.

Grant agreements must be signed and returned within 30 days.

Final Report

All arts council grantees must submit an online final report within 30 days of completion of the grant period. Apprenticeship grant recipients must login again to the GO Smart system, click Current Programs & Applications, scroll to Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant, and click the Final Report link. If a grantee fails to submit the required final report for any grant, the arts council will accept no future applications from the grantee until an acceptable final report is received.


There are no appeals in this program.

For More Information

The arts council welcomes all questions regarding this program, for more information, contact:

Mark Brown
Folk and Traditional Arts Director
502-892-3115 888-833-2787 (toll free)

Zoom Office Hours

If you have questions about the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant, stop by our Zoom virtual office hours for Q&A on Wednesdays, Feb. 15 and March 15 from 10 a.m. to noon Eastern.