RISCA is excited to announce receiving a $30,000 multi-year Folk Art Infrastructure Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to pilot the Apprenticeship Collective Teaching Program. The Apprenticeship Collective Teaching Program will be offered in addition to RISCA’s other Folk Arts Programs. RISCA will continue to offer annually one $5,000 and one $1,000 Folk Arts Fellowship Grant, and five $3,000 Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grants.
The program will feature the Narragansett Indian Tribe Master and Junior Master Artists, with all the workshops, performances, and presentations taking place at the historic Longhouse in Charlestown, RI. The Narragansett Longhouse building features professional modern offices, a full kitchen, archival room/library, a gallery, and several community spaces. The Longhouse will serve as an incubator for new folk artists, it will continue to grow as an arts and cultural hub, and a place where the community can celebrate their rich folk-art traditions.
This program will target Junior Folk Artists who are dedicated to preserving and obtaining a deep education in the art of Regalia. Through a series of eight highly focused workshops per year (24 over a three-year period), Junior Master Artists will work with several Master Folk Artists from the Narragansett Indian Tribe to learn the craft and important cultural and historical traditions of Regalia, which include leather, beading, wampum, dancing, drumming, and singing.
This collective way of teaching provides a highly effective approach that reaches a greater number of students and thereby creating a greater impact and legacy, resulting in more Junior Artists becoming Master Artists. It is also a way of supporting and paying tribute to the Indigenous people’s way of passing down knowledge.
With this piloted program, Master Folk Artists will have the opportunity to pass down their cultural folk art knowledge by becoming mentors and teachers to the next generation. Junior Master Artists will further identify with their Native American culture, history, and community while continuing their goal of becoming a Master Folk Artist.
RISCA hopes that the dynamics of this program can be replicated in other communities and thus benefit more Folk Art Apprentices.
For more information on the RISCA Apprentice Collective Teaching Program, or our other Folk Arts Programs, contact Elena Calderón Patiño, Director of Community Arts Program at 401-222-6996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.