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Arts Mentoring Project Grant Aimed To Preserve Folk & Traditional Arts In Wyoming

Wyoming Arts Council/Wyoming Folklife Collection

The Wyoming Arts Council is accepting applications for Folk & Traditional Arts Mentoring project grants, for the fiscal year 2022.

The goal of the Folk & Traditional Arts Program is to identify, preserve, and honor folk and traditional arts throughout the state. Joshua Chrysler, who is a Folklorist and Health & Wellness Specialist at the Wyoming Arts Council, said a classic Wyoming is the large ranching community present in the state.

"And there are a lot of traditional art forms associated with ranching: saddle making, leather carving, horsehair hitching, all of these are traditional art forms that are important to the communities from which they grow out of," said Chrysler.

The grant is designed to assist masters of folk and traditional arts in passing on their knowledge to eager apprentices from their community. This mentorship will train apprentices to advance their skills in the traditional art form.

Chrysler said there is a need for the grant every year.

"It's because these folk and traditional art forms are like grassroots, community-based, expressions of cultural identity. They're really the type of art form that makes Wyoming, Wyoming," said Chrysler.

The grant started out in 2005, with the purpose of apprentices to learn the natural process of these art forms in person, with hands-on instruction. But with the pandemic still on-going, the council has left it up to the grant recipients to determine how they want to work together over time.

"Sometimes we have, say, a mother teaching their daughter and maybe they live in the same household. So the pandemic doesn't really affect anything because they already live together," adds Chrysler.

The projects must occur between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, for no less than six months. The deadline to apply for this grant is May 1. The application and more information can be found on the Wyoming Arts Council's website.

Correction: Mar. 1, 2021

A previous version stated that projects must occur between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, for no more than six months. In fact, the projects must last no less than six months. 

Naina Rao comes to Wyoming Public Radio from Jakarta, Indonesia. She has worked at NPR for Story Lab and the nationally syndicated show, "1A". Naina graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 with a B.A. in Journalism. Naina enjoys swimming, listening to podcasts and watching Bollywood movies.
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