Vermont Folklife Center offers apprenticeship stipends

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MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Folklife Center is accepting applications for the 27th year of the Vermont Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the center initiated the program in 1992 to support the continued vitality of Vermont's living cultural heritage.

VTAAP provides stipends of up to $2,000 to master and apprentice pairs to cover time, materials and travel expenses. Under the auspices of the program, traditional arts such as blacksmithing, Somali-Bantu embroidering, Franco-American singing, and Bhutanese- Nepali folk dancing have received support.

The deadline for applications for this year's program is Aug. 15.

A traditional arts apprenticeship brings teachers and learners together who share a commitment to sustaining these art forms. It pairs a community-recognized master artist who has achieved a high level of expertise in his or her art form with a less-experienced apprentice. The master and apprentice jointly plan when, where and what they expect to accomplish during the apprenticeship. Apprenticeship schedules reflect the time constraints of both master and apprentice, and range from short-term, intensive sessions to meetings spread over a year. More than 350 apprenticeships supported during the first 26 years of the program represent a broad spectrum, from the arts of Abenaki, Yankee, and Franco-American regional cultures, to the arts of Somali Bantu, Burundian, Tibetan, Bosnian, Bhutanese Nepali and other New American communities in Vermont.

Information and application forms for the Vermont Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program are available from the Vermont Folklife Center, 88 Main St., Middlebury, 802-388-4964 or online at http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/education/apprenticeship/

The Vermont Folklife Center's mission is to broaden, strengthen, and deepen our understanding of Vermont; to assure a repository for our collective cultural memory; and to build connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont.

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