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Folk and Traditional Arts

Folk and Traditional Arts are defined as those artistic traditions characteristic of specific ethnic, religious, linguistic, occupational, or regional groups. These arts are shaped and shared within families, neighborhoods, and communities. They are passed down from one generation to another and learned through ongoing participation in community-based activities, and through observation, practice or apprenticeships with elders and masters rather than through classes, books or other means of institutional instruction. 
Folk and Traditional Arts Program Director: Dana Payne, 717-525-5544 or 

The PCA has established three ways to provide resources and services to the Folk and Traditional Arts field in Pennsylvania:


Apprenticeships in Folk and Traditional Arts are grants from the PCA which support the learning of traditional arts within cultural communities across the state. Each grant award provides funding to a partnership between a master traditional artist and a qualified apprentice, enabling them to work together to share and develop advanced techniques or repertoire.  Apprenticeships in Traditional Arts grants are offered annually in both performing or craft traditions. Artists who receive the award are also profiled on the statewide Folk Art Infrastructure website.

Download the 2019-2020 Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeships guidelines and application (PDF)

ATA - Master Artist Mensura Berberovic - Bosnian Ballads.jpg
In this photo: master artist Mensura Berberovic works to teach Bosnian ballads.

ATA - Master Artist Diana Meng - Chinese Watercolor.jpg
In this photo: Dina Meng, a master artist of Chinese watercolor and calligraphy.


Arts Organizations and Arts Programs (AOAP)

The AOAP track supports eligible PA Folk and Traditional Arts organizations that provide programming and/or arts services in Pennsylvania.


Folk Arts Infrastructure

The goals of the Folk and Traditional Arts Infrastructure are to document, investigate, present and sustain the folk and traditional art of Pennsylvanians today. This Infrastructure is a system of seven independent organizations, covering 33 counties, that form a mutually supportive network. These organizations promote the creation and documentation of folk art of the highest artistic excellence; engage the public in understanding the quality, breadth and diversity of folk and traditional arts across the state; conduct critical discovery fieldwork in under-represented communities; and provide technical assistance for folk and traditional artists through workshops and gatherings. 

 Lorraine Felker in her studio at Walk In Art Center.jpg
Lorraine Felker, a fiber artist, pictured here in her studio at the Walk In Art Center. Felker completed an apprenticeship with master weaver Patti Delman to learn willow basketry, a traditional folk art of the region.

Christine Luschas demonstrates her craft of designing European etched eggs.jpg
Christine Luschas demonstrates her craft of designing European etched eggs.

Folk and Traditional Arts Infrastructure Centers

Serves: Blair, Cambria, Indiana, Somerset, Bedford
Phone: (814) 536-5399
Serves: Cumberland, Dauphin, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Union
Phone: 717-248-4901
Serves: Crawford, Erie, Warren
Phone: (814) 452-3427 

Serves: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia
Phone: (215) 726-1106
Serves: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Washington, Westmoreland
Phone: (412) 464-4020

Serves: Carbon, Berks, Schuylkill
Phone: (570) 732-3728

Eric Claypoole with his hex symbols at the 70th annual Kutztown Folk Festival.jpg
Eric Claypoole with his hex symbols at the 70th annual Kutztown Folk Festival.

Additional Information

Appeals Process

Terms & Conditions

General Provisions