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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 

About Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeships
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.

Folk and Traditional Arts Regional Partner Organizations: A Folk Arts Partner in your region can provide assistance with completing your grant application and preparing your work samples. The Partner nearest to you can be identified here (PDF).

Application information:

About the PCA's Folk and Traditional Arts Partnership

The goals of the PCA's Folk and Traditional Arts Partnership are to investigate, document, present, sustain, and promote the folk and traditional art of Pennsylvania in order to celebrate our diverse heritage. This system of local and regional organizations forms a mutually supportive network and specializes in, or includes, a focus on folk and traditional arts. Current Partnership organizations collectively serve 40 counties by promoting the creation and documentation of folk art; engaging the public in understanding the quality, breadth, and diversity of folk and traditional arts across the state; conducting critical discovery fieldwork in under-represented communities; and providing 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.

About the PCA's Folk and Traditional Arts Partner Organizations

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.

\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.