Traditional Arts Apprenticeship
Traditional Arts Apprenticeship header image


Deadline: June 16, 2022
Maximum Award: $3,000
Required Match: None
Award Cycle: July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship

The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship helps communities sustain their cultural heritage by providing an opportunity for master traditional artists to pass on their skills to a qualified apprentice or apprentices. Based on experience and commitment to their art form, master artists select an apprentice to teach for an extended period of time, one on one, usually for a year. Up to $3,000 is available for the master artists’ teaching fees, supplies and travel costs. Preference is given to selecting apprentices who are members of the same ethnic, religious, occupational, tribal or familial group as the master artist. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deadline.

Grant awards may be used for fees for the master teacher, supplies and/or equipment, travel expenses (for master or apprentice), books and educational materials. If you have participated in the Apprenticeship Program for three consecutive years, you must take a year off before reapplying.

Have general questions about the Grant/Application Process? Access the Grants FAQ

All applicants must have an active Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to receive funding. Applicants are eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria at the time of application:

  • Master and apprentice have both resided full-time in Maine for at least one year immediately prior to the application deadline.
  • Master and apprentice will both reside full-time in Maine throughout the apprenticeship.
  • Master artist is recognized by their community for expertise in a particular traditional art form.
  • Apprentice demonstrates competency in the art form prior to the apprenticeship.
  • Master is at least 18 years of age or older by the application deadline.
  • Master is not a student enrolled in a degree or certificate-granting program.
  • Master is in compliance with final reports required for previous Maine Arts Commission awards.

Ineligible Expenses: Grant awards may not be used to fund lodging and food costs. Grant awards may not be re-granted nor used to cover the costs of brick-and-mortar projects, non-project related travel or fundraising for the project.

Once an application is started, the applicant may revisit it to add materials or change answers. This can be done up until the deadline. When the application is complete, the applicant must hit the ‘Submit’ button on the final page. This locks the application and makes it ready for review.All application materials must be submitted through the Application Portal and must contain:

Online - Fields within the Application Portal that will need to be completed

  • Complete answers to all narrative prompts (Required)

Uploads - Up to a total of 10 pieces of support materials uploaded through the Application Portal

  • Resumes, bios, or curriculum vitae for all key participants. (Required)
  • Artistic samples (Required): Images (up to five), audio or video materials (no more than 15 minutes in length), prose samples (no more than 20 pages in length), poetry (no more than 5 poems), etc.
  • Up to three letters of support. (Required) Documents addressing the qualifications of the master and apprentice and the apprenticeship's impact on the community.
  • Collateral. (Optional) Materials such as press reviews, articles, marketing materials, etc.

Vendor Code – An applicant must have a current Vendor Code to receive award funds

  • Your Vendor Code is a state assigned number that allows award payment processing. Please check your Maine Arts Commission User/Organization account to see if there is a number in the Vendor Code field. If the field is blank you will need to complete a Vendor Form with exactly the same name and contact information as used in the application. This must be provided to the agency prior to award notification and can be submitted through email, surface mail, or FAX. Please do not upload the Vendor Form as part of the application.The form can be downloaded from the Grants Help page.
  • Vendor Forms can be emailed to

Artist-specific application information:

  • ‘DUNS Number’ does not apply to individual artist applicants; just enter “1.”
  • If your contact information has changed within the past year you will need to fill out a new Vendor Form.

The Maine Arts Commission reserves the right to use submitted materials in the non-commercial promotion of the artist and/or Maine Arts Commission programs.

To be completed in the Application Portal. 

(All character counts include spaces. 2,550 characters/page)

Part A: Mentor Artist

  1. Name of the master artist (100 characters max.)
  2. Describe the traditional craft, music, art, dance, or occupational skill you wish to teach. (1,915 characters max.)
  3. How did you learn your traditional art form? (1,275 characters max.)
  4. How long have you been practicing it? (638 characters max.)
  5. How long have you known your apprentice and why did you select him/her? (638 characters max.)
  6. Why is this tradition important to your community? (1,275 characters max.)

Part B: Apprentice

  1. Name of the apprentice(s) (100 characters max.)
  2. Why are you interested in learning this traditional art? (900 characters max.)
  3. Describe your skill level in this traditional art. (900 characters max.)
  4. How long have you known the master artist? (900 characters max.)
  5. What skills, styles or techniques do you expect to learn? (900 characters max.)
  6. Why is this tradition important to your community? (1,275 characters max.)

Part C: Mentor and Apprentice Work Plan

  1. How often will you meet? (900 characters max.)
  2. How long will each session last? (900 characters max.)
  3. Where and when will the meetings occur? (900 characters max.)
  4. Outline the goals of the apprenticeship. (1,275 characters max.)
  5. Outline what will be taught at each session. (638 characters max.)
  6. Outline program expenses. Be specific. See below for allowable costs. (638 characters max.)

Grant applications are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  • Artistic strength of master according to the standards of the traditional community. (20%)
  • Role of the artist and art form in community life and significance of tradition. (20%)
  • Skill and commitment of the apprentice. (20%)
  • Feasibility of work plan and likelihood of a successful collaboration between master and apprentice. (20%)
  • Potential impact of apprenticeship on continued vitality of the traditional art. (20%)

Applications are reviewed by panels of public members, selected for their expertise. Reviewer recommendations are presented to Maine Arts Commission members who approve the review process, making an award official. Notifications to applicants of the spring deadlines are sent in mid-July. The review process and delivery of funds may take up to six months. This means that grant funds may be used to reimburse costs which have been incurred for the project after the grant has been approved but prior to funds being disbursed.

All applicants are notified of their award status (approved or declined) via email after the Commission members approve the review process. Awardees are also listed on the Maine Arts Commission website. Paperwork for an applicant to accept an award is sent via email. Award funding is delivered by surface mail in the form of a paper check. A grant is taxable income, however, the Agency does not send 1099 or other tax forms to awardees. A copy of your executed award contract can be accessed on the State of Maine site at:


Ask for Help

The staff at the Maine Arts Commission are ready to help as you prepare your application and navigate the Application Portal. We especially encourage first-time applicants and those new to grant writing to contact us for assistance. For more information, visit our staff directory


Grant information can be made available in large print format or other languages by request. All Maine Arts Commission programs are accessible to people with disabilities.   All programs funded by the Maine Arts Commission must also be accessible.  To learn more, the NEA offers an accessibility self-assessment checklist. Please direct questions about agency accessibility and accommodation to Kerstin Gilg, at vog.eniam@glig.nitsreK or 207-287-6719.   

Traditional Arts Staff Contact: 
Kathleen Mundell  207-236-6741
Traditional Arts Specialist

Get Started in our Application Portal

Apply for a Grant

Need More Help?
For General Questions:
Director of Grants & Accessibility
Kerstin Gilg: 287-6719
Help by Discipline:

Interim Media & Performing Arts Director
Meg Fournier: 287-2713

Assistant Director, Visual Arts Director
Julie Horn: 287-2790

Arts Education Director 
Martha Piscuskas: 287-2750

Traditional Arts Specialist
Kathleen Mundell: 236-6741