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Seeking Nominations for Annual Award to Traditional Artists and Culture Bearers in Arizona

March 22 - May 1

Tucson, AZ– The Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA), an affiliate non-profit organization of the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the parent producing agent of the annual Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival, launches a seventh year of its Master-Apprentice Award program to support Master traditional artists and apprentices. This year SFA will make 10 awards to pairs of Arizona-based traditional artists and culture bearers—$5,000 for the Master artist and $500 to the emerging artist—engaged in learning and transmission of traditional knowledge. The pair should anticipate working together for one year.
Artists are nominated by peers within their community, cultural institutions, apprentices, or by self-nomination. They are selected by a panel and awarded for their knowledge, dedication, and commitment to passing on living traditions from our region and beyond. Applicants include a wide variety of artists, including those working in traditions including, but not limited to:

• Handcrafts: weavers, basket makers, jewelers, mask makers, ritual objects, textile artists
• Occupational folklife: adobe makers, leather workers, ironworkers, foodways workers
• Oral traditions: storytellers, poets
• Performing arts: dancers, vocalists, musicians

“Our program strives to recognize some of the Southwest’s incredible traditional artists,” said Denise Uyehara, Program Manager in Artist Services, “Our 2022 Awardees included artists working in traditional jewelry, leatherwork, dance, song and language from many different cultural backgrounds.”

The Award is supported the Arizona Commission on the Arts through a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) State Partnership Agreement. The program is the first award program of its kind in Arizona. SFA joins over 30 Master-Apprentice award programs across the nation. The program affirms the organization’s commitment to individual heritage-based artists, economic development and the transmission of cultural knowledge.

“Beyond an Award, this program builds knowledge and understanding between artists and the agencies funding the cultural expressions in their communities, these relationships are critical to improve the way we support folklife across the State,” said Leia Maahs, SFA Executive Director.

Nominations are now open. Deadline to nominate artists is May 1, 2023.

For information, visit https://southwestfolklife.org/master-apprentice-artist-program/
Download Guidelines here. Access the Nomination Form here.

Once nominations are received and vetted for meeting program criteria, SFA staff members work one-on-one with each applicant to support their application process. Orientation sessions can also be held as requested by communities or individuals.


March 22
May 1
Event Categories:


Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA)
(520) 621-4046
View Organizer Website


Tucson, AZ United States + Google Map

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