Virginia Folklife Program Announces Apprenticeship Class of 2018-2019
May 6 Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase.
The Piedmont Virginian is dedicated to historical preservation in Virginia, not only land and historic structures but also its art and folklife. For this reason we value programs such as the Virginia Folklife Program, a public program of Virginia Humanities.
This organization is dedicated to preserving, documenting, and celebrating Virginia’s cultural heritage, including music and craftsmen’s arts. The program hosts hands-on workshops, performances, and exhibitions all across Virginia.
Their apprenticeship program pairs master artists with apprentices for nine months. The program’s goal is to ensure that folk art forms are passed on in ways that are faithful to tradition. “Through this unique program, we work with incredibly accomplished musicians and craftspeople who are dedicated to passing along vitally important art forms to future generations,” said Jon Lohman, Virginia State Folklorist and director of the Virginia Folklife Program. “Participants in this year’s showcase exemplify the remarkable range and diversity of folk traditions in Virginia.”
On Sunday, May 6, Virginia Folklife Program pairs with James Monroe’s Highland to bring a showcase of apprenticeship art and performances, including music and artisan demonstrations. The historic Highland is the perfect setting for these historic traditions to be brought to life.
Performances will include the Twin Creeks Stringband, one of Southwest Virginia’s finest old-time bands, among many others. Featured foods include real Brunswick stew by the Proclamation Stew Crew, a “soul supper” prepared by the Ingram Family of Richmond, fried apple pies from Frances Davis, and oysters shucked by world champion oyster shucking sisters, Deborah Pratt and Clementine Macon Boyd.
The showcase will feature both the graduating 2017-2018 apprentices and the incoming 2018-2019 class.
Introducing the 2018–2019 Master Folk Artists and their apprentices:
- Master gospel singer Cora Harvey Armstrong of King and Queen County and apprentice Samantha Willis
- Master of jazz and swing guitar Bert Carlson of Bath County and apprentice Danny Knicely
- Master baklava maker Sondus Asad Moussa of Harrisonburg and apprentice Sanaa Abdul Jalil
- Master hotrod car builder Jeff Bennett of Roanoke and apprentice Jeremy Bennett
- Master of Vietnamese Dan Bau (monochord instrument) Nam Phuong Nguyen of Fairfax County and apprentice Anh Dien Nguyen
- Master Mongolian contortionist Mandkhai Erdembat of Falls Church and apprentices Emma and Ella Chuluunbat
- Master moonshine maker Chris Prillaman of Franklin County and apprentice Tanner Talley
- Returning master of the Galax-style dulcimer Phyllis Gaskins of Rockingham County and apprentice Anna Stockdale
Celebrating the completion of the 2017–2018 Master Folk Artists and their apprentices:
- Master candy maker Gene Williams of Chesapeake and apprentice Lee Bagley
- Master of logsmithing Gary Horton of Carroll County and apprentice Tommy Horton
- Master Sephardic ballad singer Susan Gaeta of Fairfax County and apprentice Gina Sobel
- Master of soul food cooking Christine Ingram-Murphy of Henrico County and apprentice Cheryl Yancey
- Master of Bolivian mesa ceremonies and rituals Julia Garcia of Arlington and apprentice Gloria Encinas
- Master banjo maker Greg Galbreath of Giles County and apprentice Peter Keller
- Master fiddler Nate Leath of Rockingham County and apprentices Eli and Aila Wildman
- Returning master decoy carver Grayson Chesser of Accomack County and apprentices Drew Sturgis, P.G. Ross, Mark Ross, and Andy Dunton
- Returning master of classical Iranian and Persian music Nader Majd of Fairfax County and apprentice Ali Reza Analouei
Grayson Chesser carves a duck decoy head with a knife in his workshop on the Eastern Shore of Virginia on January 23, 2018.
Master fiddler Nate Leath picks the old time tune Julianne Johnson with his apprentices Victor Furtado on banjo, Eli Wildman on mandolin and Aila Wildman on fiddle at the Wildman home in Floyd on July 25, 2017
May 6, 12-5 p.m.
Free and open to the public
James Monroe’s Highland, 2050 James Monroe Parkway, Charlottesville
About Virginia Humanities: Virginia Humanities connects people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. As the state humanities council, Virginia Humanities reaches an estimated annual audience of 41 million through community programs and festivals, grants and fellowships, websites and digital initiatives, publications and teacher institutes, radio programs and podcasts, and the Virginia Center for the Book. To learn more, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.