Through the State Partnership Grant, the National Endowment for the Arts provides state arts agencies with support for stable, professionally-directed programs that are responsive to a state’s diverse folk and traditional arts heritage. Since 2014, the Arizona Commission on the Arts has partnered with the Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA) to serve as the state’s official folk arts partner.

SFA is the first dedicated folklife organization along the US-Mexico border corridor focused solely on uplifting, supporting, and presenting the work of traditional artists year-round. Their mission is to build more equitable and vibrant communities by celebrating the everyday expressions of culture, heritage and diversity in the Greater Southwest.

Current Opportunity

Master-Apprentice Artist Award

Nominations Due: May 1, 2021

Application Notification: May 15, 2021

Application Due: July 31, 2021

Award Notification: September 30, 2021

Award disbursement: October 31, 2021

Submit Nomination

These awards provide direct support for master traditional artists living in Arizona to pass on art, culture, and heritage practices to apprentice learners through the annual SFA Master-Apprentice Award. The award is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and Arizona Commission on the Arts.

The Master-Apprentice Artist supports a master artist or tradition bearer to work with a qualified apprentice (or group of apprentices) to engage in a teaching-learning relationship that includes one-on-one mentorship and hands-on experience. Our highest priority is to support apprentices to learn from master artists within their own cultural traditions. Funds can be used to help cover artist fees, offset costs of raw materials, and support any travel essential to the exchange. Traditional artists & culture bearers receive a $5,000; apprentices receive $500.

Visit the SFA website for more information.

Banner photos: (left to right) Adrian Perez; Barbara Teller Ornelas; Carlos Valenzuela; Keith Johnson; Joanne Hunter. Photos by Stephen Meckler, courtesy of Southwest Folklife Alliance.


Southwest Folklife Alliance is an affiliate non-profit organization of the University of Arizona, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences