Traditional Arts Apprenticeships Announced!

We  are delighted to announce the awarding of 10 new Traditional Arts Apprenticeships.  These Mass Cultural Council grants support the transmission and vitality of our state’s traditional arts by funding a master artist to mentor an apprentice in a 10-month learning experience.

Here are the 2018-2019 year recipients:

Nepalese sarangi playing: Shyam Nepali, master artist and Pranawa Phuyal, apprentice, Watertown, MA

Cambodian folk dance  Tim Chan Thou, master artist and Maddox Yang, apprentice, Lowell, MA

Odissi dance Shipra S Mehrotra, master artist and Priya Bangal, apprentice, Framingham, MA

Guitar making:  Benjamin Pearce, master artist and Deitrich Stause, apprentice, Cambridge, MA

Westfield whipmaking:  Carol Martin, master artist and Stephanie Harder, apprentice, Westield, MA

Music of Epirus: Vasilis Kostas, master artist and Lysander Jaffe, apprentice, Boston, MA

Carnatic violin: Surya Sundararajan, master artist and Bharath Ramesh, apprentice, Westford, MA

Kathak dance: Urmi Samadar, master artist and Anishka Yerabothu, apprentice, Southborough, MA

Carnatic vocal Tara Anand Bangalore, master artist and Diya Godavarti, apprentice, Framingham, MA

Carnatic mridangam: Mahalingam Santhanakrishnan, master artist and Shivendran Vytheswan, apprentice, Lexington

Apprenticeships are awarded every other year. The next application deadline will by April 2020.

Fiddle through line

Suhas Rao and Tara Anand Bangalore. Photo by Billy Howard.For years I’ve wanted to pair a kora player with an oldtime banjo player. Or get rhythm tap dancer Rocky Mendes together with swing fiddler Matt Glaser. We did just that and more at a recent concert, African Roots, Fiddle Tunes, and Fancy Footwork — one of two performances complementing Keepers of Tradition: Art and Folk Heritage in Massachusetts at the National Heritage Museum. The concert gave us the opportunity to hint at the diversity of performance traditions thriving in Massachusetts today — African kora, old-time fiddle and banjo, swing fiddle, South Indian Carnatic violin, and Irish accordion and fiddle. This is music that makes people dance — and so we complemented the musician’s offerings with some of the extraordinary dance steps their music has inspired: rhthym tap dance and Irish stepdance. It wasn’t “Riverdance,” “Hee Haw” or “Bollywood.” It was the living, breathing root traditions from which they sprang.

We’re putting something similar together for October 4th. Stay tuned . .

Photo by Billy Howard