Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Announces Apprenticeships in Traditional Arts

Apr 26, 2013, 11:34 ET from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The state arts council today announced the 2013 folk and traditional arts apprenticeships for Pennsylvania. Ten apprentices working with master artists in five counties will be supported by the grants.

"By supporting these partnerships, the commonwealth invests in our artistic heritage and excellence," Phillip Horn, executive director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts said.

"We are extremely proud to recognize the accomplishments of our traditional artists whose creativity and dedication reflect the depth of our state's rich cultural history. Nationally recognized master artists, like the great autoharp luthier George Orthey, are treasures of our state's cultural fabric and the opportunity to study with them is invaluable."

The apprenticeships support the learning of folk and traditional arts across the state. Grants are offered annually in either performing or craft traditions. Each grant award supports a partnership between a master traditional artist and a qualified apprentice. It enables them to work together to share and develop advanced techniques or repertoire.

The council supports grants of up to $3,000 to eligible Pennsylvania traditional artists identified through a rigorous review process. The council makes the final selections and approves all awards. Artists who receive the award are also profiled on the statewide folk art infrastructure website.

The council collaborates with its statewide infrastructure for the folk and traditional arts to administer the grants. The infrastructure is a system of independent organizations that work "to promote the creation and documentation of folk art of the highest artistic excellence and to engage the public in understanding the quality, breadth and diversity of folk and traditional arts across the state."

These organizations include: Jump Street (Harrisburg), Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center (Johnstown), Community Partnerships RC&D (Lewistown), Erie Art Museum (Erie), Northern Tier Cultural Alliance (Towanda), Philadelphia Folklore Project (Philadelphia), and Rivers of Steel, Inc. (Homestead). The grants are administered through a contract with Jump Street. The council has been awarded infrastructure grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the federal arts agency, since 1998.

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) is a state agency under the Governor's Office. Its mission is to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania, and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.

For more information about the PCA, visit or call 717-787-6883.

For information or questions about the folk arts apprenticeship program, contact Mira Johnson, program consultant, folk and traditional arts programs and services, at (717) 238-1887 ext. 106 or by email at

The next deadline for applications is August 2, 2013.

Additional information about folk arts in PA and materials for classroom use can be found at 

Media contact: Heather Doughty, 717-787-1517; PCA

Editors Note: The list of 2013 master artists and apprentices is listed below:

Dauphin County

  • Master artist: Camille Erice, Apprentice: Svetlana Gomez, Artform: Flamenco Dance, Grant amount: $3,000
  • Master artist: Chen-Yu Tsuei, Apprentice: Erica Leyder, Artform: Traditional Chinese Dance, Grant amount: $3,000

Erie County

  • Master artist: Kamal Upreti, Apprentice: Khem Rizal, Artform: Hindu Traditional Dance – Balaan, Grant amount: $2,960

Montgomery County

  • Master artist: Migmar Thopten, Apprentice: Tsering Jurme, Artform: Tibetan Nangma Toeshe Dance, Grant amount: $3,000

Perry County

  • Master artist: George Orthey, Apprentice: Greg Schreiber, Artform: Autoharp Lutherie, Grant amount: $3,000

Philadelphia County

  • Master artist: Yalani Bangoura, Apprentice: Dorothy Wilkie, Artform: West African Dance, Grant amount: $3,000
  • Master artist: Jatin Goswami, Apprentice: Madhusmita Bora, Artform: Sattriya Dance (India), Grant amount: $3,000
  • Master artist: Viji Rao, Apprentice: Neha Nataraj, Artform: Indian Classical Dance, Grant amount: $3,000
  • Master artist: Viji Rao, Apprentice: Rochitha Nathan, Artform: Bharatamatyam Indian Dance, Grant amount: $3,000
  • Master artist: Anssumane Silla, Apprentice: Lela Aisha Jones, Artform: West African Dance, Grant amount: $3,000

SOURCE Pennsylvania Council on the Arts