Florida Folklife Program

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Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
October 06, 2011

Chris Cate

Secretary Browning Announces Master Folk Artists Who Will Serve in the 2011-12 Apprenticeship Program

Four artists chosen to support Florida’s folk arts

TALLAHASSEE – Secretary of State Kurt Browning today announced the selection of four Florida folk artists to serve as masters in the 2011-12 Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program. The chosen artists are Cracker cowboy chap-maker Elaine “Poppy” Moe (Ocala), Greek bouzouki musician George Soffos (Tarpon Springs), Cuban batá drummer and drum-maker Ezequiel Torres (Miami) and Cracker cattle cow-whip maker Calvin “Buddy” Mills (Okeechobee).

“Folk arts such as traditional crafts, music, dance, storytelling and occupational arts are representative of Florida’s rich heritage,” said Secretary Browning. “By teaching an apprentice, these master folk artists are making a valuable commitment to the survival of significant Florida traditions.”

The Department of State’s Folklife Apprenticeship Program fosters the continuation of Florida folk arts by supporting masters who teach selected apprentices. Under the program, each master artist works 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. The Apprenticeship Program is sponsored in part with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

To apply for the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program, master artists should be known in their community as expert practitioners of a valued, traditional art form. Each apprentice must have demonstrated an aptitude for and a commitment to the art form he or she wishes to study and an involvement with the community that sustains the tradition. The next deadline for applications to the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program is May 15, 2012.

The Florida Folklife Program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program. For further information about the department’s Folklife Apprenticeship Program, visit www.flheritage.com/preservation/folklife/apprenticeship, or write to the Florida Folklife Program, Division of Historical Resources, 500 S. Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250, or call 850.245.6333 or 1.800.847.PAST.

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