Traditional Arts Apprenticeship
Traditional Arts Apprenticeship header image


Deadline: June 17, 2021
Maximum Award: $3,000.
Required Match: None.
Award Cycle: July 1 to June 30.

Artists and organizations seeking relief funding for the COVID-19 emergency should visit the agency COVID-19 Resource Page. It has information about Maine Arts Commission support as well as support options from other organizations. 


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. The folk and traditional arts are rooted in and reflective of the cultural life of a community. Community members may share a common ethnic heritage, cultural mores, language, religion, occupation, or geographic region. These traditions are shaped by cultural values that are passed on from generation to generation, most often within families and community members, through demonstration and practice.

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • 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.

Eligible Expenses: 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.

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.

Application Materials

Incomplete applications will not be eligible for review. Applicants must submit artistic samples for both the master artist and apprentice(s). A completed application in the Grants Management System (GMS) must contain:

Online - Fields within the Grants 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 Grants 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 (Highly recommended): 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 for 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. The form can be downloaded from the Grants Help page. - - 

Application Questions (to be completed in the GMS)

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

Part A: Master 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: Master 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.)

Review Criteria

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%)

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by panels of public members, selected for their expertise. All grant recommendations are presented to Maine Arts Commission members who approve the review process, making the grant official. 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.



Agency staff are always here as a resource for you. We recommend contacting the correct staff person a minimum of two-weeks prior to submitting your application.

For specific questions about the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship application:
Please contact Kathleen Mundell, Traditional Arts Specialist, at moc.oohay@1002secruoserlarutluc or 207-236-6741. 
For general questions about the application or review process:
Please contact Kerstin Gilg, Director of Grants and Accessibility, at or 207/ 287-6719.
For questions about award payments.
Please contact Darren Henry, Director of Operations, at or 207/ 287-2726.

Grant information is available in large print format 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.

Get Started in our Grants Management System (GMS)

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

Visual Arts Director
Julie Horn: 287-2790

Arts Education Director 
Martha Piscuskas: 287-2750

Traditional Arts Specialist
Kathleen Mundell: 236-6741