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.

Recent News

SFA Awards 2022 Master-Apprentice Awards

“Many of the artists we award are elders or late-career artists. This presents a heightened sense of urgency—we want to make sure we honor and support them in sharing their cultural knowledge to ensure these art forms continue.”

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Current Opportunity

Master-Apprentice Artist Award

Nominations Due: May 15, 2022


The Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA) Master-Apprentice Artist Award provides direct support for master traditional artists living in Arizona to pass on art, culture, and heritage practices to apprentice learners.

The goal of this award is to strengthen the transmission of community-based traditions throughout the Southwestern United States. 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


Amazing news this morning: Arizona's own Poetry Out Loud State Champion, Oscar Landa Samano, will advance to the final round of Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest! On Sunday, June 5, 2022, Oscar will compete against 8 other state champs for the title of National Champion and a $20,000 college scholarship! Congratulations and way to go, Oscar!You can send Oscar a virtual cheer through our website: to the #PoetryOutLoud 2022 nine finalists, revealed at this weekend's Semifinals! Find out who will be the #POL22 national champion and winner of $20,000 with us on June 5 by streaming the Finals! ... See MoreSee Less
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