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Individual Artists

Traditional Arts Apprenticeships
Deadline: July 11, 2014 (for projects between November 1, 2014- September 30, 2015)

Grant Coordinator: Julianne Morse
(603) 271-0791

These FY2015 Grant Guidelines are valid for fiscal year July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grants help to preserve traditional crafts, music, and dance so that future generations can continue to benefit from them. Apprenticeship grants fund a master traditional artist to teach an experienced apprentice in one-to-one sessions over a period of six to ten months and in this way recognize master traditional artists for their artistic excellence and commitment to preserving their heritage and support the efforts of promising apprentices who want to learn a tradition and share it with others. 

How does a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship work?
A successful Traditional Arts Apprenticeship is built upon shared goals, trust, and respect. Therefore, individuals interested in applying for this grant identify each other and apply together as a team. In some cases, the Traditional Arts Program can provide contact information on artists working in a particular traditional art form, but it is up to individuals interested in this grant to contact each other.

Grant funds help cover master artist fees for teaching, funds for supplies, and travel essential to the apprenticeship. The master artist and apprentice team work together to develop a plan for what they would like to do during the Apprenticeship that includes meeting for a minimum of 65 hours and up to 80 hours over a six to ten month period.  If funded, each master and apprentice team is required to give a community presentation within six months of the completion of the Apprenticeship grant. This presentation allows the public to share in the important efforts the artists are making to preserve their heritage and helps people to learn about the State Arts Council’s investment in preserving New Hampshire’s cultural heritage.   

What are traditional arts?
Crafts, songs, dances, and music that are passed down from one generation to the next within families and communities are an important and cherished part of a community’s heritage.  Communities can be defined in many ways, such as groups that share the same ethnic heritage, language, geographic area, religion, occupation, or way of life.

For a traditional artist, being true to the inheritance of the past provides deep satisfaction. Therefore, the techniques and forms of traditional arts tend to change very slowly. Traditions are not static and each generation adds their special creativity to the tradition. However, the sense of what is beautiful and well done is defined more by the community than by an individual artist's very personal creative vision. Because of this, traditional arts often become symbols of identity and pride for a community. The State Arts Council’s Traditional Arts Program seeks to be responsive to how communities define themselves and their traditions. Because of limited resources, we place emphasis on supporting tradition bearers that have a direct connection to the community or group from which a tradition emerged.

For more information on traditional arts and folklife in New Hampshire, click here for a description of the Heritage & Traditional Arts Program or visit the New Hampshire Folklife website. This online educational resource includes an interactive Learning Center and a searchable database of traditional music recordings.

Why is it important to preserve traditional arts?
Traditional arts are an important part of our living heritage. They represent a sense of beauty, skills, knowledge, and community values refined over generations. Many practitioners of traditional music and dance help bond communities together in social events. Many traditional artists who work in crafts preserve important skills that are being eclipsed by modern technology. Those that work with natural materials often have a deep knowledge of how to sustain natural resources.

Maximum Grant Request
A master artist and apprentice team may apply for a combined total of up to $3,400 per year. Within that amount, the maximum request for the master artist is $2,400 and the maximum request for the apprentice is $1,000.

FUNDING DISCLAIMER: All grant categories and amounts are subject to change, depending upon availability of state and federal funds for any fiscal year.

Required Match
No cash match is required for a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant.  As there are no grant funds available for apprentice fees, the time invested by the apprentice in learning from the master artist is considered an in-kind match for the project.

Who May Apply?
Traditional artists representing any cultural or ethnic tradition that can demonstrate there is a community context for the tradition within New Hampshire may apply for a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant.

The master artist should be:

  • Recognized by his or her community as an established and mature practitioner of his or her traditional art form and able to demonstrate artistic excellence through supporting materials. There is no certification required to be considered a master artist.
  • Be able to express in the application a sincere interest and commitment to teaching the tradition to the proposed apprentice.

The apprentice should:

  • Have some experience in the artistic tradition he or she wants to study.
  • Be able to express in the application a sincere interest and commitment to sharing with others the knowledge learned after the completion of the Apprenticeship.
  • Be at least 12 years old and have parental approval to apply if younger than 18.

Residency Requirements & Border State Apprenticeships
The State Arts Council recognizes that traditional art forms are often preserved regionally.  Therefore, as long as one member of the apprenticeship team (master or apprentice) is a resident of the state of New Hampshire, the other member of the team may be a resident of one of our border states: Vermont, Maine, or Massachusetts.

If applying for a border state Apprenticeship, we urge applicants to plan a schedule that maximizes the amount of time in each teaching session. This will help keep the travel expenses in appropriate proportion to the amount requested to cover the master artist fees. If either a master artist or an apprentice plan overnight stays, the State Arts Council cannot cover the cost of housing and meals.

Eligible Project Expenses
Grant funds may cover:

  • Master artist fees for teaching, supplies, and travel essential to the Apprenticeship.
  • Apprentice supplies and travel costs essential to the Apprenticeship.
    (The grant does not cover fees for the apprentice’s time.)


  • Each individual applicant, regardless of whether he or she is applying as a master artist or an apprentice, may submit only one application per year.
  • A master artist and apprentice team may apply for and receive funding for two consecutive years. Following this, the team must wait one fiscal year before applying again.

This grant does not support:

  • Traditional occupations such as fishing, farming, or logging, unless they include the making of crafts associated with the occupation such as fishnets, boat building, harness making, ox yoke making or wood carving.
  • Contemporary fine arts and crafts, such as oil-painting, screen printing, etching, glass blowing, sculpture and ceramics.
  • Theater arts such as opera, play writing, or acting.
  • Healing arts such as herbal medicine, therapeutic massage, or acupuncture.
  • Decorative body arts such as tattoo or body painting.
  • Culinary arts.

Application Review Process
Each year, a review panel made up of community members knowledgeable in cultural traditions is assembled to review the applications submitted and makes funding recommendations to the State Arts Council. The panel members read each application and then participate in a panel meeting where support materials/work samples are presented and each application is discussed. Whenever possible, a State Arts Councilor facilitates the panel meeting. Applications are reviewed and ranked based on the funding criteria listed. Recommendations, based on funds available, are forwarded to the State Arts Council for review and approval. If an individual's cumulative total of grants received from the State Arts Council for that fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) is $2,500 or more, the grant recommendation must also be submitted to the Governor and Executive Council for final approval.

Funding Criteria
The following criteria are used by reviewers to evaluate and rank applications:

  • Excellence of master artist's work
  • Recognition and community support of the master artist
  • Expressed commitment of the master artist to perpetuate the tradition and work with the apprentice
  • Readiness of apprentice
  • Quality of apprentice’s work
  • Expressed commitment of apprentice to perpetuate the tradition and share knowledge with others after the grant period
  • A clear work plan with goals, steps for accomplishing them, and a budget that matches the work plan for the Apprenticeship

Funding Priorities
Funding for Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grants is limited and awarded on a competitive basis. To provide for the equitable distribution of funds, when two applications have been determined as having equal merit by the review panel, the State Arts Council will give funding priority to master artists who are applying for the first time.

Community Presentation
Each master & apprentice team is required to give a community presentation within six months of the completion of the Apprenticeship. This can be a local library, school, fair, gallery, or community event. The Traditional Arts Program may sponsor an Apprenticeship showcase. Grantees in crafts and/or performing traditions may be invited to utilize this opportunity as their required community presentation.

How to Apply

Complete Application Form:
Print out the Application Form: MSWordPDF

Don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader®? Click here to download for free!

Applicants are encouraged to contact Julianne Morse, Heritage & Traditional Arts Coordinator, at 603/271-0791 or to discuss their project prior to submitting an application.

Submit Work Samples:
Visual or audio samples of your work are essential to the review panel’s understanding of your work and evaluation of your application. See the application form for instructions on preparing work samples/support materials.

Master artist: Submit work samples that illustrate the quality of your work.
Apprentice:  Submit work samples that illustrate your experience in the art form you wish to study.

Depending upon your art form, submit the appropriate materials:

  • CRAFTS:  images (up to 20) photographic prints or digital images on CD *
  • MUSIC:     CD or DVD
  • DANCE:    DVD

* NOTE to craft artists: You may also submit an actual sample of your work for the panel to view, but the State Arts Council cannot accept liability for loss or damage.

IMPORTANT: Even if you have been funded as a master artist or an apprentice in the past, please keep in mind that the State Arts Council does not retain work samples and panelists may not be familiar with your work. Applications without Work Samples for both master and apprentice may not be favorably reviewed by the panel!

Submit Letters of Support:
Letters of support are essential to helping the panel understand how members of a community regard the proposed master and apprentice, the value the community places on a tradition, and the importance of the state investing public funds in it being preserved.

  • Master Artist:  Submit at least 2 letters
    Letters should speak to the community’s recognition of the master artist’s work and the importance of the tradition to the community.
  • Apprentice:  Submit at least 2 letters
    Letters should speak to dedication and commitment of the apprentice and the sincerity of his or her intent to pass on the tradition to others.

How to Prepare the Application Package:
1. A master artist and apprentice team should complete one application form together. The application should include original signatures. Applicants must answer the questions on the application in their own words. If language or disabilities present barriers to understanding or filling out the form, the applicant may ask for assistance as needed. State Arts Council staff is available to provide technical assistance prior to application deadlines.

2. Include the required Work Samples as requested above.

3. Include the required Letters of Support, or indicate who will be providing a letter of support if it is to be sent directly to the State Arts Council.

Please do not put the application and support materials in a 3-ring binder or special folders. We make copies of your application and will need to discard customized packaging.

3. Please make a copy of the application for your files.

4. Mail or deliver the application and materials to: NH State Council on the Arts, 19 Pillsbury Street, 1st Floor, Concord, NH 03301 by the deadline.

Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered to the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts office at 19 Pillsbury Street, 1st Floor, Concord, by 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date noted above. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The office is closed all state and most federal holidays. Late applications will not be accepted. The Council cannot accept applications transmitted by facsimile (FAX) or email and cannot be responsible for applications lost in transit.

Applicants will be notified of their application status approximately ten weeks following the application deadline.

The maximum combined grant amount for a master artist and apprentice team is $3,400. Within this amount, the maximum request for a master artist is $2,400 and the maximum request for an apprentice is $1,000. If funded for a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant, the State Arts Council issues two contracts, one to the master artist and one to the apprentice.

The NHSCA disburses funds appropriated from public sources, both federal and state. Checks are issued by the Central Administrative Services of the State of NH, not the Department of Cultural Resources or the State Arts Council. Upon receipt of properly executed grant forms, the State of New Hampshire generally pays individual grants of under $2,500 to grantees within four to six weeks. If an individual is awarded $2,500 or more or has received other State Arts Council funds which brings the cumulative total received with the state’s fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) to $2,500 or above, grants need to be approved by the Governor and Executive Council; consequently, payment can take up to ten weeks. All awards are subject to availability of state and federal funds. Therefore, we ask applicants to plan cash flow accordingly.

Master artists and apprentices are responsible for all applicable federal taxes. We urge grant recipients to keep all receipts and other appropriate records for tax filing purposes.


  • All grant agreements must be returned by January 15 of the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) in which they are awarded. Failure to return the grant agreement by that date may result in the cancellation of the grant and reallocation of funds.
  • Payment of a grant will be withheld if the final reports for previous grants are not in compliance with policy below.

Grant Period and Reporting Requirements
The grant period is November 1, 2014 - September 30, 2015. A final report is due by October 31, 2015.

Failure to submit the final report by the required date will result in grantees becoming ineligible to apply for NHSCA funding for two years. Additionally, failure to submit the final report may result in a withholding of funds from any currently awarded NHSCA grant.

Click here for the Final Report Download Center.





Last updated: February 24, 2014

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