NEVADA ARTS COUNCIL NEWS RELEASE – The Nevada Arts Council has awarded five Folklife Apprenticeship grants for 2014. The grants support projects developed by master artists and apprentices who share a common cultural background and an interest in preserving a specific traditional art. A panel of specialists reviewed seven applications that requested $15,300 to support the work of master artists, along with supplies, tools, materials and related travel costs necessary to complete the apprenticeship. Five applicants were approved for full funding by the NAC board in June.
Grants went to: Charles Herring, master artist, and apprentice Patricia Gorsch, Las Vegas, for Hawaiian feather kahili (staff) making, $2,200; Sylvia Robertson, master artist, and apprentice Linda Strong, Henderson, for Ukrainian pysanky (egg writing/egg dyeing), $2,200; Stephanie Sam, master artist & apprentice Dietta Espinosa, Elko, for Paiute beading on buckskin, $2,200; Romeo Siguenza, master artist, and apprentice Gabriela Flores, Las Vegas, for Mexican Folklorico embroidered costumes, $2,200; and, Hilman Tobey, master artist, and apprentice Norman Zuniga, Sparks, for traditional Native American pipe-making, $2,200.
Created in 1988, the Folklife Apprenticeship Program encourages the continuation of Nevada’s diverse traditional culture by providing grants to skilled master artists who teach committed apprentices about their art form through intensive instruction. Panel members were Francesca McCrossan, folklorist and former director, Folk and Traditional Arts Program, Montana Arts Commission; Charlie Seeman, director, Western Folklife Center, Elko; Irma Varela-Wynants, cultural specialist, Clark County Parks and Recreation, Las Vegas.
The Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, is the agency charged with ensuring that state and national funds support cultural activity and encourage participation in the arts throughout Nevada. In addition to providing hundreds of grants to arts and community-based organizations, schools, artists and local municipalities throughout the state, the Arts Council coordinates a variety of statewide programs and activities such as the annual Poetry Out Loud recitation competition for high-school aged students, traveling exhibits, artist residencies, workshops and cultural assessments. For more information, please visit the department’s website at nac.nevadaculture.org/.