Celebrating the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program's 25th Anniversary

Celebrating the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program

In the first 25 years, the Missouri Folk Arts Program has fostered three hundred and forty three apprenticeships between master traditional artists and their apprentices.

In its first year, the Folk Apprenticeship Program (as it was initially named) focused on Missouri’s musical traditions and sponsored ten apprenticeships. In the second year, apprenticeships were nearly equally divided between music traditions and material culture (saddles, chairs, woven coverlets, baskets, cabinets, and blacksmithing).

Since then, over five hundred individual traditional artists, many in underserved rural, inner city, and ethnic communities in every corner of the state, have participated in the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. The Missouri Folk Arts Program is proud to usher this amazing program into the 21st century.

This series of slideshows above offers a taste of the vibrant, artistic traditions in Missouri. From music and dance, outdoor lore, and foodways to sacred and ceremonial arts, these master artists and their apprentices enrich Missouri’s cultural heritage.

The photos here have been culled from our archives, most of which are housed at Western Historical Manuscripts Collection at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Several folk arts staff, volunteers, and colleagues must be credited for documenting TAAP artists, including: David Allred, Deborah Bailey, Barry Bergey, Ray Brassieur, Bryan Culpepper (National Park Service), Dana Everts-Boehm, Keith Frausto, Rachel Gholson, Lisa L. Higgins, Patrick Jansen, Peter Leach, Stephanie Lyons, Howard W. Marshall, Jeff McCarty (Rural Missourian), Margot McMillan, Scott Mitchell, Lisa Rathje, Claire Schmidt, Amy Skillman, John Wolford, and Julie Youmans.

Museum of Art and Archaeology
Missouri Arts Council
National Endowment for the Arts