Power of Culture Blog
As the Agency is evaluating our support for artists as part of our Racial Equity Plan
To experience this site in your native language, click below.
Para visitar este sitio web en su idioma nativo, haga clic a continuación.
Para experimentar este site em sua língua nativa, clique abaixo.
Mass Cultural Council’s governing Council recently approved our largest investment ever in Traditional Arts Apprenticeships – $180,000 in FY23 – to preserve and help revitalize traditional expressive arts valued by cultural communities throughout the state. From Yiddish song and dance, Dominican carnival traditions, and African American quilt making to restoration of Middle Eastern musical instruments, Irish uilleann piping and fiddling, and North Indian Kathak dance and Mithila painting – these traditions reflect who we are in Massachusetts.
These mentoring partnerships help sustain traditional art and artists and support inter-generational learning. A Traditional Arts Apprenticeship can even help bring endangered traditions back from the brink, like this year’s apprenticeship in the Nipmuc traditional skill of brain-tanning animal hides for use in regalia. Or Uyghur calligraphy, a form of art script vital to perpetuating the cultural heritage of the Uyghurs; for the small community of recent Uyghur refugees in Massachusetts this is especially important as their language has been banned in their homeland of Eastern Turkestan by the Chinese government.
For some artisans, it can take time and perhaps a bit of luck to find an apprentice with potential to carry the tradition forward. Upon hearing that his apprenticeship in traditional sign painting and Celtic knotwork was funded, Vincent Crotty shared his enthusiasm, “I feel like I found a perfect person to pass on what I know; we’re thrilled, just beyond happy!”
It is with delight that we announce the funding of 18 new mentor artists and their apprentices in the following traditions:
Violin in traditional Greek music
Beth Bahia Cohen mentoring Rebecca MacInnes
Samba Traditional of the Recôncavo da Bahia, Brasil
Isaura Oliveira mentoring Brittany Owens
Nipmuc brain-tanning, paddle making, wampum & other crafts
Andre Strongbearheart Gaines mentoring Nazario Daishuan
Chinese papercutting with scissor
Zhonghe Elena Li mentoring Jason Wang
Aimaiti Abulikemu mentoring Munawwar Abdulla
Traditional Irish fiddling: regional styles
Laurel Martin mentoring Fern Tagamini-O’Donnell
African American quilt making
Sharon Correnty mentoring Christine Brown
Taiko Kumi-daiko style
Karen Young mentoring Mica Rose
Bomba & Plena: music, dance, chants
Jorge Santiago-Arce mentoring Sandra Marcelino
Dominican carnival traditions
Stelvyn Mirabal mentoring Leonardo Mirabal
Irish Uilleann piping
John J. Abarta mentoring Eva Meier
Traditional sign painting
Vincent Crotty mentoring Lori Greene
North Indian Mithila painting
Sunanda Sahay mentoring Anjana Bhargava
Yiddish song and dance tradition
Judy Bressler mentoring Adah Hetko
North Indian Kathak dance
Urmi Samadar mentoring Nandina Lal
Country blues and guitar
Paul Rishell mentoring Ira Klein
Lutherie and restoration of Middle Eastern musical instruments
Chris Pantazelos mentoring Jesse Collins
Chinese long ribbon dance
Chu Ling mentoring Abby Lin
Congratulations to all the recipients! We wish them well in their learning endeavors.