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The deadline for FY25 has passed. The application for FY26 will be open in Jan. 2025.

The Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program honors and encourages the preservation of North Dakota's diverse living traditions by providing funding up to $4,500 for master traditional artists to pass on their skills and knowledge to an apprentice(s) over an extended period of time.

Traditional and folk arts are shared creative expressions of identity passed from generation to generation within a family, community, region, tribe, ethnic group, occupation, or religion. Forms of traditional expression include craft, technical skill, music, dance, and ritual celebration. These art forms are usually passed from one individual to another informally, by word of mouth or by example.

A master may apply for and receive more than one grant if circumstances warrant, especially if the projects involve different artforms.

First-time applicants are encouraged to contact the program officer if they have questions while preparing the application. The program officer can assist with eligibility questions and project idea development and goals.

Application Deadline FY25

  • Friday, April 19, 2024, 11:59 pm CST (project dates July 1, 2024-April 30, 2025)

Grant Award Range

  • $4,500 maximum request

Panel Date

  • May 23, 2024

For Questions or Assistance

Contact Program Officer and State Folklorist Troyd Geist | tgeist@nd.gov | (701) 866-0959

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Apprenticeship Program Guidelines - FY25

All applicants should read these documents thoroughly before beginning the online application.

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How to Apply

Application Method

Online

Grant applications are submitted online through the NDCA online grant system.

To apply online, go to grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=ndca

Tutorials

The tutorials below guide new users through the online registration process and illustrate how to apply and use the system.

By Mail

The preferred method of submission is online. If necessary, applications can be printed and sent by mail. Download the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship FY25 application or contact Program Officer, Troyd Geist at tgeist@nd.gov or (701) 866-0959.

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Program Overview

Program Overview

 

The Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program honors and encourages the preservation of North Dakota's diverse living traditions by providing funding of up to $4,500 for master traditional artists to pass on their skills and knowledge to an apprentice(s) over an extended period of time.

 

Traditional and folk arts are shared creative expressions of identity passed from generation to generation within a family, community, region, tribe, ethnic group, occupation, or religion. Forms of traditional expression include craft, technical skill, music, dance, and ritual celebration. These art forms are usually passed from one individual to another informally, by word of mouth or by example.

 

Potential applicants are encouraged to work with people they already know within their own tribal, ethnic, or occupational group or community. Proposals may include unestablished master/apprentice partnerships or already established informal teaching/learning relationships. Most apprenticeships are based on a one-on-one teaching and learning situation. However, for traditions like dance that might require group instruction, a master artist may have up to four apprentices in one application. The Apprenticeship Program also encourages multiple apprentices from the same immediate family learn from a master who is not within the immediate family.

 

A master may apply for and receive more than one grant if circumstances warrant, especially if the projects involve different artforms.

 

The grant awards are to be used for a master artist's instruction fee and the cost of supplies and travel for the master and/or apprentice. The length of each apprenticeship will vary according to the proposed work plan, but most apprenticeships last between four and ten months.

 

Program Outcomes

  • Folk and traditional art forms are passed on between two or more individuals in an ongoing, structured relationship between a master and an apprentice(s).
  • North Dakota communities are enriched because folk and traditional art forms are practiced, preserved, and shared.
  • Greater public awareness, increased knowledge, and documentation of folk arts is achieved.
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Eligibility and Grant Award Amount

Master Artist

  • Is an individual artist who is among the finest tradition bearers in their respective community or region
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be a North Dakota resident or from neighboring states
  • Must be a United States citizen or have attained permanent resident status

Apprentice(s)

  • Is an individual artist (or artists) who already possess some skills in the traditional art they wish to study
  • Must demonstrate a commitment to mastery of the art
  • Must be a North Dakota resident for at least two years prior to the start of apprenticeship activity and continue to reside in North Dakota throughout the contract period
  • Must be a United States citizen or have attained permanent resident status

Examples of Proposals

Strong proposals include:

  • The continuation of rare and endangered art forms;
  • Teaching and learning more about the applicant’s own cultural traditions;
  • Teaching and learning more about traditions that have been continuously maintained rather than recently revived;
  • A highly skilled master who learned in an informal, traditional way.

Ineligible Applications:

  • Projects completed in previous fiscal years
  • Payment of project costs incurred before the project start date
  • Applicant has any overdue reporting requirements as specified in a previous grant agreement with NDCA

Grant Award Amount

Maximum Award Request: $4,500

  • No matching funds are required for this program.
  • Grants to individuals are taxable income.
  • All grants are subject to available funding from the North Dakota State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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Application Review Process and Review Criteria

Application Review Process

1. After Submission: Applications are reviewed by staff for eligibility and completeness.

2. Panels: Panelists are selected annually. For more information, visit: arts.nd.gov/get-involved/become-panelist. Online meetings are open to the public. Anyone may attend and listen to the discussion but may not present or participate. See arts.nd.gov/news/ndca-meetings for dates.

3. Review Criteria: The panel evaluates each application and makes funding recommendations to NDCA’s Board based on how well the applicant addresses specific review criteria. Panelists individually score complete applications. Those scores are averaged to arrive at the final score with total possible points of 30, or 100%.

4. Board Approval: NDCA’s Board of Directors has final authority to approve grants.

 

Review Criteria

1) Traditionality (0-5 points)

  • The art form taught is folk and traditional art (e.g., a shared creative expression of identity passed from generation to generation within a family, occupation, tribe, ethnic group, or religion).
  • The art form is rooted in the master's and apprentice’s cultural background and the master learned it informally.

2) Master’s Artistry (0-5 points)

  • The master artist demonstrates artistic excellence. (Master artists who have previously participated in the Apprenticeship Program are not required to submit work samples or support materials; the panel will infer artistic excellence as that indicative of a master.)
  • The master artist has earned recognition from their cultural community for skill and accomplishments in a folk and traditional art form.

3) Apprentice’s Artistry (0-5 points)

  • The apprentice(s) has a cultural connection to the art form that will be taught.
  • The apprentice(s) has a baseline of skills in the art form that will be taught.

4) Apprentice’s Commitment (0-5 points)

  • The apprentice(s) has a dedication and commitment to learn and continue the art form.
  • The apprentice(s) has goals to master the art form and to teach and share the art form with the public.

5) Plan and Clarity (0-5 points)

  • The project plan is achievable and appropriate and will accomplish program goals.
  • The budget is appropriate for the plan.
  • The overall application is thorough and clear.

 

6) Funding Priorities (0-5 points)

  • The artform to be taught and learned is rare or endangered.
  • The artform to be taught and learned has been continuously maintained rather than recently revived.

If Funded

Notification and Agreement

  • Communication regarding the grant award is via email with the contact person listed on the grant application.
  • An authorized signer for the application will need to complete an online grant agreement unless other arrangements are made with the program officer for those applicants who applied by mail.

 

Payment

  • Disbursement Amounts and Timing of Funds: Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program grant funds are paid in two installments for the master artist teaching fee. The first 50% of the fee will be paid after the applicant submits the grant agreement and to coincide with the start date of the activities. The remaining 50% of the fee will be paid after submitting a satisfactory final report to the program officer. Any grant funds specified for supplies, materials, and/or travel will be paid in full to the master artist and/or apprentice(s) at the start of the grant activities.
  • Return of Funds: Grantees are required to spend the entirety of the NDCA grant award according to budget categories indicated in the award. The final report must show expenditures at or greater than the awarded amount or funds will need to be returned.

 

Reporting

  • Change Reports: Any project changes to the activities, timeline, or budget need to be approved in writing by the program officer. Note that not all project changes can be approved.
  • Final Reports: An online final report is due 30 days after the project end date that was entered on the application or by May 30, 2025, whichever comes first. Overdue final reports will affect future eligibility to apply for and/or receive NDCA funding.
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Application Instructions

How to Apply

Online: Grant applications are submitted online through the NDCA online grant system.

 

Note that the master is the applicant for this program. An email address is required to apply in the online system when creating an account. If the master applicant does not have an email address, an apprentice or apprentice parent/guardian can provide an email address when registering.

 

  1. To apply online, go to grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=ndca.
  2. Register or log into your account.
  3. Tutorials: Video and downloadable PDF tutorials are available when creating an account that guide new users through the registration and application process.
  4. Click “Apply” at the top navigation of the website.
  5. Click the “Apply” button next to “Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program FY25 Application.” 

 

Application Submission Deadline: April 19, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CST

 

Contact the program officer with any problems encountered with the online application. Online assistance is available only until 4:30 p.m. on April 19, 2024.

 

By Mail: Mailed applications along with other required information must be received at NDCA by April 19, 2024. Download the application form here https://www.arts.nd.gov/sites/www/files/documents/grants/APFY25MailedApplicationandInstructions.pdf

and save it to your computer or contact the program officer for other arrangements. Mailed applications are uploaded into the online grant system later for panel review.

 

Additional Project Questions

NDCA collects this required information for reporting purposes for the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

Master Information

Master Contact Information (Required)

Master Date and Place of Birth (Not Required)

Identify the traditional artform to be taught (Required)

 

Apprentice (1-4) Information

For apprentices under 18 years of age, contact information of a legal guardian(s) is required.

Apprentice (1-4) Contact Information (Required)

Apprentice (1-4) Date and Place of Birth (Not Required)

Apprentice (1-4) State Legislative District (Required) - To look up a district, visit: https://www.ndlegis.gov/legend/constituent/districts/public/find_my_legislator/

 

Master Narrative Questions

Project Title (Required) (100 maximum characters) - Include a project title in this format: “[the art form being taught] Apprenticeship.” (Example: Blacksmith Apprenticeship)

 

Project Start Date (Required) - The earliest start date you can enter is 7/01/2024.

 

Project End Date (Required) - The latest end date you can enter is 4/30/2025. The final report is due 30 days after the project’s end date.

 

  1. Thoroughly describe your background and experience with the traditional art form you wish to teach. Include in detail how, when, from whom, and why you learned the art form. [This is the most important question.] (10,000 maximum characters)
  2. Describe the proposed apprenticeship.  Include the techniques, styles, designs, and processes you will teach and how you plan to teach them. (5,000 maximum characters)
  3. Describe the proposed work schedule. Include when, where, and how often will you meet. Indicate the approximate length of time for each meeting (e.g., 3 hours each session for 2 sessions a month, from July to December). Include any information about a community component. A public performance, exhibition, open workshop, or demonstration that the public can attend are examples of possible community components. (5,000 maximum characters)

 

Apprentice (1-4) Narrative Questions

  1. Thoroughly describe your background and experience with the traditional art form you wish to study. If you already have some experience in this art form, describe in detail how, when, from whom, and why you began learning this art form. [This is the most important question.] (10,000 maximum characters)
  2. How did you meet or come to know of the master? Explain if you have worked together previously, formally or informally. Detail the circumstances.  (5,000 maximum characters)
  3. Why do you wish to participate in this apprenticeship and why with this master? (5,000 maximum characters)
  4. What are your plans to continue the traditional art form after the apprenticeship is completed? (5,000 maximum characters)
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Budget and Work Samples

Budget

For this section, provide all the expenses related to the proposal. Include an itemized list of 1) the master’s fee, 2) materials and supplies for the master and/or each apprentice, and 3) travel costs for the master and/or each apprentice. Note: Maximum grant award is $4,500.  No match required. NDCA’s gas reimbursement rate is $.55 per mile.

 

Work Samples

Work samples will help the panel evaluate the artistic quality of the master and apprentice(s).

  • Master Applicants:
  • who have not participated previously in the program are required to submit work samples.
  • who have participated in the program and are applying to teach a different tradition from what they were previously approved for are required to submit work samples.
  • who have participated previously in the program and are applying to teach the same tradition are not required to submit work samples; previous grant reviews have approved their master artistry designation.
  • Apprentices: All apprentice applicants are required to submit work samples.

Option of Mailing Samples

Applicants have the option to mail in work samples. Mailed samples must be received at NDCA by April 19, 2024. Mail to North Dakota Council on the Arts, Attn: Troyd Geist, 105 North 4th Street, Bismarck, ND 58501. Preferred mailed media samples are on a USB drive that includes video and/or audio files but other formats and hardcopies are accepted if submitting digital media is an issue. Note: All work samples submitted will be retained by NDCA and will not be returned unless prior arrangements have been made.

 

If providing work samples is an issue, contact the program officer to make other arrangements.

 

Work Sample Guidelines

For Visual Artists

You may upload a Word or PDF file with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 10 images.

For Music, Dance, and Oral Artists

You may provide video, audio, and/or images.

 

For video and audio, provide online links for 1 to 2 completed samples. Videos can be uploaded at youtube.com/ or vimeo.com/. For each video or audio sample, copy the URL link and paste into the online application. Include a Vimeo password, if applicable.

 

Online Samples: Keep video and audio samples available online until notified of grant award status.

 

Additional Support Materials (Not Required)

Providing 2 to 4 additional items, such as news articles, personal letters of support, and/or other such materials, is an option for all applicants.