Traditional Arts Apprenticeship 

Started in 1990, with National Endowment for the Art’s funding, the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program provides opportunities for experienced traditional artists to teach new generations.

From Wabanaki ash basketry to Somali Bantu wedding music, traditional arts are passed on from one generation to the next, reflecting each community’s values and heritage. Making sure these traditions continue is one of the primary goals of the program.

Passed down from one generation to the next, traditional arts are learned informally, usually through observation and example rather than through formal academic instruction. Preference is given to selecting apprentices who are members of the same ethnic, religious, occupational, tribal or familial group as the master artist. Click here to apply or visit the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program page for more information.

Based on their experience and commitment to their particular art form, master artists select an apprentice to teach, one on one, for an extended period of time, usually a year. Up to $3,000 is available for the master artists’ teaching fees, supplies and travel costs. 

How to Apply: Overview

Applications are reviewed by the following criteria:

  • Artistic quality of master’s work according to the standards of the traditional community
  • Role of master artist and art form in community
  • Significance of tradition
  • Skill and commitment of apprentice
  • Feasibility of work plan
  • Potential impact of apprenticeship on continued vitality of traditional art

Contact: Kathleen Mundell 

Traditional Arts Specialist 

For specific questions about the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program please contact Kathleen Mundell, Traditional Arts Specialist, at moc.oohay@1002secruoserlarutluc or 207-236-6741

The Maine and New Hampshire Craft Apprentice Program

The program is produced by the Maine Crafts Association in partnership with the Maine Arts Commission and with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Maine and New Hampshire Craft Apprenticeship Program (CAP) is presented through a partnership of the Maine Arts Commission, Maine Craft Association, and the League of NH Craftsmen. CAP supports growth and resiliency in the craft sector by offering new skills, tools and management habits that help with the changing desires of craft consumers. It is seven-month customized education for artists who not only have a deep commitment to better their work but are also willing to develop a significant relationship with a Mentor Artist. 

This is not a "traditional" apprenticeship where inventory is produced for the Mentor but instead focuses on accomplishing the apprentice's desired professional goals. Pairs apply jointly with agreed goals, a plan for achievement, and a proposed budget for the Apprentice’s stipend. Grant awards are $3,000 for the Mentor Artist for their time and expertise and Apprentices get $1,000 for supplies and tools specific to this apprenticeship. No matching funds are required

How to Apply: Overview

Mentor Artists and Apprentices apply together in one application. Review the application questions & support materials in the guidelines, then prepare your text and uploads. The application will be accepted though the Maine Arts Commission’s Grant Management System, new users will need to create an account. Once you have an account, find the Craft Apprentice Program in the grants list and follow the prompts.

Learn more about the program or APPLY here. 


Eligibility requires participants to be at least eighteen years of age, current New Hampshire or Maine residents, and apprentices must demonstrate foundational skills in the medium they wish to pursue. The program supports craft artists working in craft media, which does not include photography, painting or drawing. Please contact us if you are unsure if your media qualifies.

Selection Process

Applications are reviewed by a panel of Maine and New Hampshire professionals for a first round elimination. The panel also interviews the finalist pairs with awards given to two or more joint applicants, dependent on funding.


Both Mentor Artist and Apprentice receive honorariums based on a recommended one hundred hours of one-on-one training ($3000 to the master, $1000 to the apprentice). The honorarium for the Mentor Artist covers their time and transference of knowledge/expertise, while the Apprentice’s funds are for supplies/equipment.

Contact: Julie Horn

Assistant Director

For specific questions about the Maine Craft Apprenticeship program please contact Julie Horn, Assistant Director at vog.eniam@nroh.eiluj or 207/287-2790.