Apprenticeship Program

Click here to apply to the TAI Apprenticeship Program

The Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) Apprenticeship Program supports the continuation of cultural practices in Indiana communities by funding up to six apprenticeship pairs each year, enabling apprentices to learn essential knowledge and skills in traditional art forms from master artists. TAI hosts this apprenticeship program in partnership with Indiana University’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures, the Indiana Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The TAI Apprenticeship Program supports traditional cultural expressions of a community or group. Examples might be making an object, playing a tune, or practicing a dance. Nevertheless, each creative practice is rooted in a community. It is “traditional” in that it entails skills, aesthetics, and values that are transmitted over time within a family, community, religious, or occupational setting.

If selected, master artists will receive an honorarium of $3,000, with additional funds to cover the cost of apprenticeship materials and resources. Each master artist will host an apprentice formally for nine months (June-February). At the end of this period, apprenticeship pairs will showcase their traditional practices at a public event hosted at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures in Bloomington. There will be additional opportunities for master artists and apprentices to participate in future TAI events.

Master artists and apprentices must submit applications and work samples, as well as two letters of support. Recipients will be notified after the applications have been reviewed by a panel of cultural specialists.

Questions about the apprenticeship program or application process, or requests for assistance in filling out the application can be sent to TAI Director Dr. Jon Kay. Contact him via email at or office phone at (812) 855-0418. 

The Apprenticeship Awardees for 2017-2017 are…

Tony Artis and Andre Rosa-Artis, Marion County, African drum making

Debra Bolaños and Alejandra Bolaños & Alyssa Calderon, Lake County, Ballet Folklórico and Danza Azteca (Mexican folklore dance)

Daniel Cain and David Guffey, Posey and Vanderburgh Counties, hoopnet making

Larry and Samuel Haycraft, Pike County, hoopnet making

Katrina Mitten and Saiyah Miller, Huntington County, Miami and Great Lakes beadwork embroidery

Jason Nickel and Iris Nickel & Paolo Ansaldo, Brown and Monroe Counties, blacksmithing