We build more equitable and vibrant communities by celebrating the everyday expressions of culture, heritage, and diversity in the Greater Southwest. 

Southwest Folklife Alliance 2020 Master-Apprentice Award Program Guidelines:
DEADLINE: July 1, 2020

The SFA Master-Apprentice Award seeks to support and encourage the preservation and perpetuation of traditional art forms present and thriving in Arizona. With the goal of strengthening the transmission of community-based traditions in the region, it fosters and supports the critical teaching/learning relationship between traditional artists and their apprentices.

The award supports a master artist or tradition bearer who has identified a qualified apprentice (or group of apprentices) to engage in a one-year long teaching-learning relationship that includes one-on-one mentorship and hands-on experience in a traditional artistic practice. Our highest priority is to support apprentices to learn from master artists within their own cultural traditions. The award can be used to support the master artist, offset costs of raw materials, and support any travel essential to the exchange. SFA will make 10 - $5,000 awards to artists and 10 - $500 awards to apprentices in the State of Arizona in 2020.

Applicants may include but are not limited to a wide variety of traditional artists such as;
Artisans: weavers, basket makers, jewelers, mask makers
Occupational folklife: adobe brick makers, leather workers, iron workers
Oral traditions: storytellers, musicians, poets
Performance: dancers, traditional garments, ritual objects

Applicant Nominees must be:

  • United States citizens, lawful permanent residents, or have permission from the U.S. Department of Immigration to work in the United States.
  • Full-time residents of Arizona for a minimum of one full year.
  • Master Artists must be at least 18 years of age. Apprentices must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Recipients must remain residents of Arizona for the duration of the award year.



Nomination: Artists are first nominated by peers within their community, cultural institutions, apprentices, or by self-nomination. Once a nomination has been made, SFA will invite nominees to apply. The nomination selection process is based on these three components:
- Mastery of artform.
- Nominees ability to describe how the mastery of this art form has been recognized by  the artists cultural community and the artists ability to share traditional knowledge.
- Nominator/Master Artist fills a cultural art form or geographic area in the State of Arizona not currently being supported by SFA.
Nominees will be invited to apply by SFA Staff based on the above criteria.

NOMINATIONS are made through this online portal. Please set up an account to submit your nomination. It is free and can be deleted by you at any time. If you have any questions or concerns about the nomination process please don't hesitate to call: Nelda Ruiz, Program Coordinator @ 520-621-4046.

Once invited to complete an application you will be paired with SFA staff who will answer any questions you may have about the program and offer technical assistance with submission of a full application on the submittable portal.


Program Timeline 

- July 1, 2020: Nomination Deadline 

- July 15, 2020: Application Notification 

- August 30, 2020: Application Deadline 

- October 30, 2020: Award Notification 

- November 30, 2020: Award disbursement 

- TBA-SFA staff site visit

Southwest Folklife Alliance Inc.