Master & apprentice: Folk art for the MTV crowd

We all know about apprentice programs– young men and women shadowing a master plumber or plasterer or human resource guru to learn their trade first-hand. Well, the Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) has an apprentice program, too, only this one is for people like mandolin makers, North Indian Kathak dancers, and hearty Brunswick Stew makers.

The program is designed to encourage the survival of traditional folk culture, lest it be forgotten by the MTV generation. In this program, unlike, say, roofing, the history of the individual arts is a big part of the apprenticeship.

At the Boar's Head Inn Sunday, September 19, an exhibition and demonstration of traditional art, music, crafts, dance, and stew celebrated the successful completion of this year's program by the young crafters who spent nine months learning from the state's folk art masters.

Plentiful tasty treats and the relaxed atmosphere reflected the pleasure of the apprentices' endeavors. During the event, masters and their charges took center stage.

Who knew canning fruits and vegetables would go so well with traditional African dancing? The VFH sponsored a true cultural salad bowl of arts and crafts for all to enjoy– apprentices and masters alike.

Old-Time Banjo Master Joe Ayers and apprentice Patrick Hester jam out some Civil War tunes for the Boars Head crowd.
[In our print publication, there was an error in this caption; it has been corrected here.]

What's a folk festival without baskets?

Brunswick Stew Masters John D. Clary and Lonnie Moore hand the paddle off to young Chiles Cridlin.

Janhavi Kirtane can Kathak with the best of them.

Tabla drumming master Broto Roy and apprentice Sunil Chugh