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Contact: Sarah Revell
850-245-6522
[email protected]

Secretary Lee Announces 2020 Folklife Apprenticeship Program Master Artists & Apprentices

Tallahassee –

Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee announced today the selection of five teams to serve in the 2019-2020 Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program. The chosen master artists and apprentices are:

  • Master artist Hunter Hill Jr. (Tallahassee) and apprentice Christopher White (Tallahassee) for emancipation drumming
  • Master artist Panayotis League (Tallahassee) and apprentices Nektarios Karavokiros (Dunedin) and Rania Samartzis (Palm Harbor) for Greek Kalymnian music and oral poetry
  • Master artist Liliane Nerette Louis (Miami) and apprentice Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel (Homestead) for Haitian storytelling, cooking and folk remedies
  • Master artist Indarjit Maharaj (Sunrise) and apprentice Devesh Hargobin (Coral Springs) for East Indian harmonium and vocal training
  • Master artist Sangeetha Sridhar (Miramar) and apprentice Geetha Srinivasan (Weston) for East Indian nattuvangam, or the rhythmic recitation using cymbals central to traditional Indian dance

“The Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program was designed to celebrate, support and preserve the folk traditions practiced throughout our state,” said Secretary Lee. “Along with past apprenticeship teams, this year’s master artists and apprentices represent the wealth of diversity we have in Florida.”  

               Liliane Nerette Louis & Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel. Photo by Amanda Griffis.

The Department of State’s Folklife Apprenticeship Program fosters the preservation of Florida folk and traditional arts by supporting masters who pass their knowledge, skills, stories and techniques on to apprentices. Traditional arts are expressions of shared community identity that reflect the values and aesthetics of the groups that practice them. Traditional arts include a wide range of creative forms such as custom, belief, technical skill, language, art, music, dance and ritual. These arts are typically learned informally and are maintained and perpetuated without formal instruction. As part of the program, master artists work intensively with one or more apprentices during a period of up to eight months. Program support consists of honoraria to the masters and apprentices to cover expenses for lessons and supplies.

To apply for the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program, master artists should be known in their community as expert practitioners of a living traditional art form that is considered a valued aspect of that community’s folklife. The Florida Folklife Program defines folklife as the living traditions that are currently practiced and passed down by word of mouth, imitation, or observation over time and space within groups or communities. Each apprentice must have demonstrated an aptitude for, and a commitment to, the art form which he or she wishes to study and an involvement with the cultural community that sustains the tradition. The next deadline for applications to the Folklife Apprenticeship Program is May 15, 2020.

The Florida Folklife Program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program. To apply for the Folklife Apprenticeship Program, visit our website or contact the Florida Folklife Program at 850.245.6427.

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About the Florida Folklife Program

The Florida Folklife Program, a component of the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources, documents and presents Florida’s folklife, folklore and folk arts. The program coordinates a wide range of activities and projects designed to increase the awareness of Floridians and visitors alike about Florida’s traditional culture. Established in 1979 by the legislature to document and present Florida folklife, the program is one of the oldest state folk arts programs in the nation. For more information, visit flheritage.com/folklife.