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Apprenticeship Program

Contracts to California Mentor Artists to
Train Apprentices in Traditional Arts

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

10/19/20 - Postmarked. Electronic submissions due by 11:59 PM PST.


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Contracts to California mentor artists to train apprentices in traditional arts. Applications must be jointly submitted by a mentor and apprentice artist. Eligible expenses include supplies, artist's fees, and travel. Previously funded art forms include Bulgarian and Romani wedding music, traditional Chinese wushu, leatherworking, and basketweaving.

The Apprenticeship Program encourages the continuity of the state’s thriving traditional arts and cultures by contracting mentor artists to offer intensive, one-on-one training to qualified apprentices. Each contract will support a period of concentrated learning, from 6 mos. to a year, for apprentices who demonstrate a committed engagement with, and a talent for, a specific traditional art form or cultural practice.

If selected for an Apprenticeship, ACTA enters into a contract with the mentor artist and apprentice to implement the work plan proposed in the application. The apprenticeship program period may last between six months to one year, in which ACTA staff will work closely with the apprenticeship pair to gauge and document progress and offer assistance and support. 

Review Criteria:

  • Traditionality of the art form
  • Artistic quality of the mentor artist’s work
  • Demonstrated commitment and developed skill of the apprentice
  • Shared membership of the mentor artist and apprentice in a cultural community (family, heritage, occupation, tribe, religion, etc.) 
  • Feasibility of the proposed work plan and timetable
  • Urgency (for endangered art forms) 

For an explanation of the term "traditional arts", see the URL for Full text.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 147804

Estimated Size of Grant:

Contracts of $3,000 will be made.

Term of Contract:

The apprenticeship will begin on or after January 1, 2021, and must be completed by December 31, 2021. The apprenticeship must total at least six months, but may last up to one year, depending on the conditions of the particular mentorship.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Mentor artist and apprentice must apply together. For this online application, we recommend 1 person (either Mentor or Apprentice) takes the lead on submitting application materials on behalf of their team.
- Mentor artist must be authorized to work in the United States and be able to receive payments directly.
- Both applicants must be California residents.

A mentor artist is someone who is recognized as an exemplary practitioner of a traditional art form by their community and peers. An apprentice is someone who learns from a mentor artist. Prospective apprentices should demonstrate an intention to enhance their established skills and cultural understanding of the art form by working with a master. The mentor artist and apprentice must apply together with a mutual desire to work with each other.

Ineligible Apprenticeships:
- Contemporary studio crafts or the reproduction of antiques
- Recreations of historic or village folk traditions that attempt to reenact lifestyles from the distant past
- 2019 Apprenticeship Program participants

Pre-proposal Conference:

Join ACTA for an online info session about the Apprenticeship Program, the upcoming Living Cultures Program grant, and other relevant funding opportunities!

Register for the Zoom meeting on Aug. 21, 3 PM:

Register for the Zoom meeting on Aug. 28, 5 PM (Spanish):

Register for the Zoom meeting on Sept. 17, 12 PM (Bilingual):

Pre-Application Information:

- Apprenticeship applications typically open annually in the spring and close late summer (for 2021, they opened late summer, and will close in the fall). Applications for 2021 opened on Aug. 7, 2020
- Deadline: October 19, 2020 @ 11:59 PM (PST). Postmark Deadline: October 19, 2020
- ACTA staff review submitted applications for eligibility in the summer and early fall. Eligible applications go forward to an external review panel in the fall. Applications recommended for funding are approved by ACTA’s Board in the late fall.
- All applicants will be notified if they received the Apprenticeship by January.

ACTA strongly suggests that you call to the program manager to discuss your proposal before applying.

Only one application is allowed per mentor artist and/ or apprentice (e.g., mentor artist is not allowed to submit multiple applications, each with a different apprentice, nor can a person apply as an apprentice in one application and then as a mentor artist in another).

Letters of support are required for both the mentor artist and apprentice from experts on the art form or from people who know about the applicant’s commitment to the cultural community and to the traditional art form.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Send applications to:
Alliance for California Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program
744 P Street, Suite 307
Fresno, CA 93721

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Jameson, Program Manager

For technical problems with the application form, contact:
Submittable Technical Support:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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