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Secretary of State announces Master Folk Artists to serve in the 2009-2010 Apprenticeship Program

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Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
October 05, 2009

Susanne Hunt

Secretary of State announces Master Folk Artists to serve in the 2009-2010 Apprenticeship Program

Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning announced the selection of three folk artists to serve as masters in the 2009-2010 Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program. They are African American hymn liner Troy Demps (Orlando); Indian classical bharatanatyam dancer Geeta Karkera (Maitland); and cow-whip maker Calvin “Buddy” Mills (Okeechobee).

“Folk arts such as traditional crafts, music, dance, storytelling, and occupational arts reflect the heritage of everyday people,” explained Secretary Browning. “These unique skills need to be passed on to future generations in the context in which they originate. By teaching an apprentice, these master folk artists make a valuable commitment to the survival of a significant Florida tradition.”

The Department of State’s Folklife Apprenticeship Program fosters the continuation of Florida folk arts by supporting masters who teach selected apprentices. Under the program, each master artist works intensively with one or more apprentices during a period of six months. Program support consists of honoraria to the masters and apprentices to cover expenses for lessons and supplies. The Apprenticeship Program is sponsored in part with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

To apply for the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program, master artists should be known in their community as expert practitioners of a valued, traditional art form. Each apprentice must have demonstrated an aptitude for and a commitment to the art form he or she wishes to study and an involvement with the community that sustains the tradition. The next deadline for applications to the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program is May 15, 2010.

For further information about the Department of State’s Folklife Apprenticeship Program, visit: www.flheritage.com\preservation/folklife/apprenticeship, or write to the Florida Folklife Program, Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, 500 S. Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250, or call 850.245.6333 or 1.800.847.PAST.

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