Connect with your peers, participate in professional development workshops, and receive up to $5,000 supporting your projects.
The deadline to apply for the most recent Emerging Traditional Artists Program cycle has passed. The guidelines below are for reference only.
Please note: This program is distinct from the Emerging Leaders of Color program in the South Arts nine-state region. Guidelines for that program are available on the Emerging Leaders of Color page.
South Arts is pleased to announce the In These Mountains: Central Appalachian Folk Arts & Culture – 2021 Emerging Traditional Artists Program (ETAP). This program recognizes and supports a new generation of traditional artists ages 18-35 that have demonstrated a high level of skill in, commitment to, and leadership in their traditional art form in Appalachian Regional Commission counties in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Awards provide financial support to ETAP participants to ensure the continuation of traditional knowledge and artistic skills within their respective cultural communities.
The 2021 ETAP will award $5,000 grants (with limited restrictions) to participants for learning opportunities including training, networking, and promotion. These opportunities should equip traditional artists to provide greater impact within their communities. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, South Arts urges potential applicants to consider safe, socially distanced opportunities.
In addition to cash awards, selected individuals will be required to participate in a series of networking and team-building workshops (three online, three in-person) with other ETAP awardees, at no cost to themselves, over a period of three years. Awards will be granted to emerging traditional artists from eligible counties in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee, with an anticipated maximum of twenty-four awards.
The South is home to an abundance of folk and traditional art forms. Folk and traditional arts share the aesthetics, practices, and values of families, geographic communities, occupational groups, ethnic heritage groups, etc. Folk and traditional arts are learned orally, or by observation and imitation, often through a mentor artist instructing an apprentice. They are usually maintained without formal instruction or academic training. Some traditional arts have a deep-rooted history with little change, while others are constantly evolving and adapting to their changing environment.
For the purposes of this application, the folk and traditional arts of Central Appalachia include music, handcrafts/material culture, and foodways. Some examples of traditional arts practiced in Central Appalachia are Cherokee stamped pottery, African American buck dancing/clogging, Anglo American ballads, seed saving/seed sharing, and many more.
The Emerging Traditional Artists Program advances the purpose of the In These Mountains initiative to “provide intergenerational opportunities to share, teach, learn, preserve, document, and carry forward the folk and traditional arts and culture of Central Appalachia.” For emerging traditional artists who have demonstrated a commitment to their artform and community and exhibit a high skill level, this award will provide them with resources to engage in learning opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible.
A learning opportunity can take many forms. Here are a few examples:
Ultimately, each of the awardees has the freedom to determine their own learning opportunity—on their own or, if they wish, with assistance from South Arts staff and/or mentors/leaders within their own communities.
Over the course of the three-year award period (Fall 2021-Spring 2023), recipients will participate in at least one in-person or distanced site visit from South Arts staff or other representative that will include documentation (recorded interview and photographs) about their art and the learning experience resulting from their ETAP award. Funding has limited restrictions, and awardees are not required to submit a final report, produce a commissioned work, or engage in any public program.
Through the series of six convenings (one virtual and one in-person per year), the ETAP program is designed to build long-term relationships between emerging traditional artists across the region, beyond state and local boundaries, through:
Awardees will sign an annual letter of commitment expressing their intention to continue participating in ETAP and to attend convenings.
Applicants for the Emerging Traditional Artist Program must:
Please note: Past recipients of the In These Mountains Folk & Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowship are not eligible for the Emerging Traditional Artists Program.
Eligible applicants do not need to rely on their traditional art form as their primary source of income, but they should demonstrate a high level of commitment to their art form and an understanding of its history/role within their community. “Community” may be defined as your family, the geographic area where you live, a religious/worship group, a group of other traditional artists, etc.
The components of the application are as follows:
ETAP applications may be submitted in one of three formats:
All applications must be signed and dated by the artist. Please choose only one application format. No application format will be considered more competitive than any other.
Personal Information: As part of the application form, you will be asked, but not required, to include personal information such as birthplace, gender identity, and race/ethnicity. Demographic information is for South Arts’ use only; this information will not be shared with the panelists. South Arts may share your contact information (only) with art professionals, such as curators and journalists who wish to be in direct contact with you, as requested.
Applicants may be asked to submit a copy of their official state I.D./driver’s license as proof of residency later in the process, in order to confirm eligibility.
Life Story Questions: Applicants must respond to the following six prompts:
Work Samples: Work samples will be used to evaluate skill in and dedication to the art form.
Support Materials (Optional): Support materials are optional, but strongly encouraged. These materials may be letters of support, newspaper articles, blog posts, podcasts, flyers, or other supplemental materials that speak to the applicant’s proficiency in their art form, their dedication to the traditional culture of their community, the history and context of their art form within their community, etc. These can be submitted as .pdf files or hardcopies. Please submit no more than five documents.
Kentucky: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley, and Wolfe.
Tennessee: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.
North Carolina: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Davie, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey.
Completed applications, including work samples, may be submitted either electronically by November 3, 2021 (by close of business, 5:00PM ET) or physically via mail, postmarked by November 1, 2021.
Panelist Review: An anonymous panel consisting of folklorists and traditional and folk art specialists will conduct the review, evaluating each application by the criteria as follows:
Award Notification: Applicants will receive notification of their award status by November 22, 2021. Up to twenty-four Emerging Traditional Artists will be awarded. The 2021 awards of $5,000 per recipient are to be used before June 30, 2023.
Emerging Traditional Artist award recipients should note award money of $5,000 constitutes taxable income and must be filed as such.
Application Open: September 22, 2021
Application Deadline: November 3, 2021
Panel Review: November 15, 2021
Awardees Announced: November 22, 2021
First Virtual ETAP Convening: December 11, 2021, 9:00am ET – 12:00pm ET
Please note: Awardees are expected to attend the convening on December 11. Additional funding is available to reimburse any lost wages due to attending the convening. Awardees are also expected to participate in activities to evaluate the success of ETAP and, although they are not required to submit a final report, South Arts staff will check in periodically throughout their award years to discuss artists’ learning opportunities.
Prior to submitting an application, folk and traditional artists are strongly encouraged to discuss their application with Ellie Dassler (Assistant Director, Traditional Arts) at email@example.com, or call or text (404) 201-7938.
Please note: We encourage applicants to contact us with questions more than 48 hours before the application deadline; due to the volume of requests, South Arts team members may not be able to respond to inquiries submitted after that time.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss your application with you!
After reviewing program guidelines, visit the application portal to begin your online application. If you are submitting in an alternate format, please follow the instructions above.Begin Your Application
For questions about the Emerging Traditional Artists Program, contact Ellie Dassler by calling/texting 404.201.7938 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.orgContact Us