Dear Friends of ACTA's Apprenticeship Program: A Letter from Master Artists

ACTA - Posted on 14 November 2012

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Friends of ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program:

As you know, our economy puts increased stress on our ability to support traditional art forms, often the last to be considered in private and public arts funding.  In the past 5 years, ACTA has been forced to reduce the number of awards for the Apprenticeship Program from 24 in 2009, to 23 in 2010, to 21 in 2011, to 17 in 2012.  While these numbers dwindle, the number of qualified master artists and apprentice applicants continue to increase.  This year, ACTA has funding to support only 15 Master/Apprentice pairs.

Support from this program was so important to our success and many other Master/Apprentices.  We hope that you will join with other Masters, Apprentices, and their families and friends to support just two additional Master/Apprentice pairs in 2013.   The immediate goal is to raise money for two $3,000 awards (a total of $6,000) to have an equal number to the 17 pairs that were funded last year.  We have each donated $10 or more and ask that you do the same.  The ultimate goal for 2013 is to raise enough money to get the program back to the 24 pairs we supported in 2009.  To donate to this campaign, go to:

Please show your support by also passing this message on to your family, friends, and colleagues.

Thank you.

Master Artist Jennifer Bates
Miwok Basket Weaver
Tuolumne Me-Wul Rancheria, Tuolumne, CA

Master Artist Patricia Montgomery  
African American Quilter
Oakland, CA

Master Artist Corey Chan
Chinese Lion Dance and Lion Head Contruction
San Francisco, CA

Jennifer Bates with her apprentice Jeri Scambler holding the basket Jeri made during their apprenticeship.Jennifer Bates:  It was a reward to receive recognition and compensation for the time, travel and work done with my apprentice, Jeri Scambler.  The Apprenticeship Program allowed us to work together without constraints.  It was also most fulfilling to be able to share the knowledge I was given, to an eager apprentice who was committed to learning and will share with her tribe what she learned and pass it along.  The rewards of this program are outstanding!

Patricia Montgomery with her apprentice Helen Anderson and the quilt Helen made during their apprenticeship.Patricia Montgomery: As a Master Artist in 2011 working with my apprentice, Helen Anderson, the ACTA Apprenticeship Program provided an opportunity to pass on the skills and the tradition of African American quilting. It is so important to continue this type of programming since it keeps the traditions alive.  So many of the quilters, that are a part of the African American Quilter Guild learned quilting and sewing from family members.  Since I taught myself how to sew and quilt it was an honor to pass down my skills, encourage creativity and produce story quilts with Helen, who will continue to share and tell about the African American experiences through quilting.

Corey Chan with his apprentice Chris Low and the lion head in the process of restoration.Corey Chan: ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program made it possible for me to spend time with my apprentice, Chris Low, who desired to deepen his knowledge of traditional Chinese lion head making. His wonderful documentation of the process (never before presented in such painstaking detail) has already been made available on the Internet for the purpose of preserving and promoting this disappearing art. Lion dance culture and lion dancers everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to Chris for his tireless efforts and to ACTA for its support of this worthy project.

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