Mathers Museum/Traditional Arts Indiana Folk Arts Apprenticeships

A new initiative at IU's Mathers Museum of World Cultures will work to preserve Indiana folk arts with apprenticeships offered through the museum's Traditional Arts Indiana program. Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Indiana Arts Commission will support and enable master traditional artists to work one on one with apprentices in order to pass on important traditional knowledge within their community.

Up to six apprenticeship pairs will be made per year, enabling apprentices to learn essential knowledge and skills in traditional art forms from master artists. "This program is unique," notes Jon Kay, director of Traditional Arts Indiana. "It works to ensure that traditional arts continue to the next generation, thereby enriching the life of individuals and communities around the entire state."

Each master artist will host an apprentice formally for nine months (October 2017-July 2018). At the end of this period, apprenticeship pairs will showcase their traditional practices at a public event hosted at the Mathers Museum. There will be additional opportunities for master artists and apprentices to participate in future TAI events around the state.

"Traditional Arts Indiana's new folk arts apprenticeship program builds on one of the most time-tested ways of learning," notes Jason Jackson, director of the Mathers Museum. "In doing so, it will strengthen our state's culture of designing and making--something that is crucial to our future as it has been in our past."

The folk and traditional arts of Indiana are important, not just to the long-standing communities but also to the diverse communities that made Indiana their new home. From Amish buggy making and Serbian instrument building, to Bluegrass fiddling and mariachi ensembles, TAI has worked not just to celebrate these traditions, but also to create a context of appreciation for traditional artists and their communities.

Master artists and apprentices will apply jointly to this application, and mater artists will receive a stipend and funding for purchasing supplies and materials for their work. Following the formal apprenticeship, master and apprentice pairs will receive additional stipends to participate in future TAI events.

The apprenticeship pairs will also be featured in TAI's traveling exhibition program, which tours exhibition panels featuring photographs and biographies of Indiana artists and musicians to libraries, festivals, community centers, and fairs throughout the state.

More information about the program is available on the program application. Master artists and apprentices must submit applications and work samples by August 1, 2017. Mailed letters of support must also be postmarked by this date. Recipients will be notified by October 1, 2017.

About Traditional Arts Indiana
Based in IU's Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Traditional Arts Indiana was established in 1998 as a partnership between Indiana University Bloomington and the Indiana Arts Commission. Traditional Arts Indiana and its programming are currently funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

TAI is dedicated to expanding public awareness of Indiana's traditional practices and nurturing a sense of pride among Indiana's traditional artists. TAI identifies, documents, and seeks to understand more fully the many ways in which cultural values are embedded and expressed in daily life. It calls attention to neglected aesthetic forms that firmly ground and deeply connect individuals to their communities--from the spoken text to the hand-made object to customary behavior. TAI's overarching goal is to integrate and connect cultural practices to educational activities, cultural conservation, arts, and community development at the local, state, and national levels.

About the Mathers Museum of World Cultures
A research center of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures is an American Alliance of Museums-accredited institution offering research and training opportunities for IU students, educational support and services for IU faculty and elementary/secondary school teachers, and family-friendly exhibits and programs.

The Mathers Museum of World Cultures is located at 416 North Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana, and admission to the museum and its programs is free. During normal hours of operation, the MMWC exhibition hall and Museum Store are open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Free visitor parking is available by the Indiana Avenue lobby entrance. Metered parking is available at the McCalla School parking lot on the corner of Ninth Street and Indiana Avenue. The parking lot also has spaces designated for Indiana University EM-P, EM-S, and ST permits. During the weekends free parking is available on the surrounding streets. An access ramp is located at the Fess Avenue entrance, on the corner of Ninth Street and Fess Avenue. Reserved parking spaces are available on Ninth Street, between Fess Avenue and Indiana Avenue. If you have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Please call 812-855-6873.