Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase

Folklife Program


Jared and Jimmy Boyd at the 2012 Apprenticeship Showcase.

The Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) will present its tenth annual Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase on Sunday, September 15th, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the VFH Conference Center. This free festival will feature the music, crafts, and traditional skills of Virginia’s “Folk Masters” and their apprentices.

The Folklife Apprenticeships pair an experienced master artist with an apprentice for a one-on-one, nine-month learning experience, in order to ensure that a particular art form is passed on in ways that are conscious of history and faithful to tradition. This year’s showcase will feature masters of a wide range of traditional music styles, including National Heritage Award Winning guitar maker Wayne Henderson, blues singer Gaye Adegbalola of Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women, as well as the bluegrass band Loose Strings from Galax, and the gospel choir Family of Praise from Richmond, among many others. Other featured crafts include real Brunswick stew, fried apple pies, and an oyster shucking competition.

“I’m really excited about this year’s apprenticeship teams,” said Jon Lohman, Director of the Virginia Folklife Program. “We’re working with incredibly accomplished musicians and crafts men and women who all wish to pass along these vitally important art forms to their apprentices. Participants in this year’s showcase attest to the remarkable range and diversity of folk traditions in Virginia.”

Celebrating the completion of the 2012–2013 Virginia Folklife Apprenticeships

  • Master Guitar Maker Wayne Henderson of Grayson County and apprentice Elizabeth Henderson
  • Master Blues Singer Gaye Adegbalola of Fredericksburg and apprentice Lorie Strother
  • Master Chickahominy Dancer Jessica Stewart of Charles City County and apprentice Vanessa Adkins
  • Master Dulcimer Maker Walter Messick of Grayson County and apprentice Chris Testerman
  • Master of Jobshop Letterpress Printing Garrett Queen of Charlottesville and apprentice Lana Lambert
  • Master Instrument Contest Emcee Harold Mitchell of Galax and apprentice Dale Morris
  • Master of Clawhammer Banjo & Moonshine Stories Jimmy Boyd of Franklin County and apprentice Jared Boyd
  • Master Gunsmith Wallace Gusler of Williamsburg and apprentice Bruce Larson

Introducing the 2013–2014 Master Folk Artists and their apprentices

  • Master Bee Keeper Jim King of Grayson County and apprentice Jackson Cunningham
  • Master of Traditional Gospel Choir Cheryl Marcia Maroney of Richmond and apprentice Robinette D. Cross
  • Master Chair Maker Sean Samoheyl of Louisa County and apprentice David Rogers
  • Master Quilter Sharon Tindall of Fairfax County and apprentice Nancy Chilton
  • Master of Traditional Green Wood Working and Farm Instrument Construction Danny Wingate of Grayson County and apprentice Sam Linkous
  • Master of Sephardic Jewish Ballad Singing Flory Jagoda of Alexandria and apprentice Aviva Chernick
  • Master of Bluegrass Fiddle Buddy Pendleton of Patrick County and apprentice Aila Wildman
  • Master Mole Sauce Maker Francisca Ramirez Acosta of Arlington and apprentice Laura Ortiz

The Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase is free and open to the public and will take place at the VFH, off 250 West (Ivy Road) at 145 Ednam Drive in the Boar’s Head Inn Complex. For more information, call 434-924-3296 or visit

The Bridge PAI and the Virginia Folklife Program also will present the work of Staunton-based photographer Pat Jarrett at a special reception on Saturday, September 14th at 7:00pm at the Bridge. For the past two years, Pat has been photographing the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship teams. The show will be open from September 6-26. View samples from the collection.

The Folklife Apprenticeship Program is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia is for Lovers, and the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band in the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, and is an initiative of the Virginia Folklife Program, which documents, presents, and supports Virginia’s living cultures, traditions, and folkways. The program was recognized in 2011 by the Federation of State Humanities Councils with the Schwartz Prize, the highest honor for outstanding work in the public humanities. The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities encourages discovery and connection through the humanities by supporting and producing programs for a wide public audience.

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