Traditional Arts Apprenticeship

About the Montana Arts Council

The Montana Arts Council (MAC) is the agency of state government established to develop the creative potential of all Montanans, advance education, spur economic vibrancy, and revitalize communities through involvement in the arts. The Montana Arts Council is governed by 15 individuals appointed by the Governor. It is funded by the state and federal government.

Traditional Arts Apprenticeships

MAC is committed to preserving and encouraging the folk and traditional arts of Montana. Folk and traditional arts embody unique skills and artistic expressions, developed over time by diverse communities within our state. Rooted in and shaped by the community, these traditions thrive within ethnic groups of those sharing a common region or occupation. In Montana, our cultural tapestry includes Native beading, cowboy poetry, leather work, Metis fiddling, metal work, musical instrument- making, and many more.

The skills, techniques, and stories of folk and traditional artforms are passed down person to person. A mentor/apprentice relationship in a community setting is among the most effective ways to support the vitality of Montana's traditional arts. MAC's Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program aims to play a crucial role in both preserving and evolving cherished traditions by facilitating a direct and immersive transfer of skills from mentor artists to passionate and committed learners.

Program Definitions

To better understand if your art form and your intended project fits this program, consider our definitions below:

Tradition: A cultural skill (music, dance, craft, foodways, art, etc.) learned and shared among members of a cultural community or Tribe.

Artist: Broadly defined to include masters of:

Support and Accessibility

MAC is committed to helping qualified applicants get their applications submitted. If you need assistance completing the application please contact MAC staff (contact information below). If you have specific accessibility requests, contact Kristin Burgoyne,, 406-444- 6449.

Taylor Burby,, 406-209-8839

Brian Moody,, 406-444-4700

Mentor                                                    Information                                                      

  1. Cultural Tradition*

    Describe the cultural tradition you will teach.

    Character Limit: 3000

  2. Cultural Importance*

    Why is this cultural tradition important to you and your community? What part has the tradition played in your community's history and culture?

    *If this traditional artform is at risk, please share that information here.

    Character Limit: 3000

  3. Biographical Info*

    Tell us about yourself. Where are you from and/or how did you come to Montana? How does this tradition reflect your cultural heritage or identity?

    Character Limit: 3000

  4. Tradition Learned*

    How long have you practiced this tradition? Who taught you this tradition?

    Character Limit: 3000

  5. Teaching Experience*

    Describe ways you have taught or shared this tradition or other traditional arts in your cultural community.

    Character Limit: 3000

  6. Apprentice Information*

    Describe the apprentice with whom you plan to work. Include the following information:

Character Limit: 3000

Artist Website

Character Limit: 2000

Apprentice                                                  Information                                                    

Third Party Email*

Character Limit: 254


Character Limit: 100

Street Address*

Character Limit: 250

Phone Number*

Character Limit: 15

Email Address*

Character Limit: 100

  1. Artistic Practice*

    Describe your experience in the traditional craft, music, art, dance or occupational skill you wish to learn. How did you begin to learn the art? What is your current level of ability?

    Character Limit: 3000

  2. Relationship with Mentor*

    How long have you and the mentor artist known each other? Have you worked with this person before?

    Character Limit: 1000

  3. Cultural Background*

    Describe your cultural background and the importance of this art form to your background.

    Character Limit: 1000

  4. Continuing Education*

    What are your plans for continuing this art form after the apprenticeship is finished?

    Character Limit: 1000

  5. Artist Website

Work                                                              Plan                                                              

  1. Skills to be Taught*

    Describe the skills the mentor will teach during the apprenticeship.

    Character Limit: 3000

  2. Schedule of Lessons*

    What will your schedule be for the lessons? How many meetings will you have, how long will they be, how many times do you plan to meet, and where will you meet?

    Character Limit: 3000

  3. Apprentice Accomplishments*

    What will the apprentice have accomplished by the end of the apprenticeship?

    Character Limit: 3000

  4. Public Presentation*

    Apprenticeships must include a public presentation of the funded tradition, please describe your proposed presentation.

Mentor: Work Sample 1

Use the "Upload a File" button below to add a photo, article, audio, video, or other file.

Use the narrative box below to provide a description of the work sample. Please use the following format:


Medium, materials used, or genre Size (if applicable)

Start/Stop Times (audio/visual only) Description

Character Limit: 500 | File Size Limit: 19 MB

Mentor: Work Sample 2 Mentor: Work Sample 3 Apprentice: Work Sample 1 Apprentice: Work Sample 2* Apprentice: Work Sample 2 Work Sample URL 1

Work Sample URL 2 Work Sample URL 3

Letters of Support

Letters from people who know your work are required—2 letters for the mentor and 1 letter for the apprentice. They are helpful to the review panel when judging your application. These letters may be from workshop attendees, teachers, community members, arts agencies, Tribal leaders (etc.) and should address your knowledge and skills of the tradition; your cultural ties to the community that the tradition represents; why it is important to your cultural community/Tribe to continue this cultural tradition. Signed letters should be addressed to the Montana Arts Council and must be submitted with this application.

Mentor: Letter of Support 1*

File Size Limit: 1 MB

Mentor: Letter of Support 2

File Size Limit: 1 MB

Mentor: Letter of Support 3 (Optional)

File Size Limit: 1 MB

Apprentice: Letter of Support 1*

File Size Limit: 1 MB

Apprentice: Letter of Support 2 (Optional)

File Size Limit: 1 MB