2008 Master/Apprentice Program Awards


Master Artist/Apprentice Relationship Preserves Illinois’ Cultural Heritage

The Illinois Arts Council is pleased to announce the recipients of the fiscal year 2008 Ethnic and Folk Arts Master Apprentice Program awards. Eleven Master Apprentice pairs received awards totaling $33,000.

The Master Apprentice Program recognizes the need for structured opportunities to pass on traditional arts as part of the preservation of the Illinois’ cultural heritage. The program fosters this traditional teaching and learning relationship by providing a $2,000 honorarium to the master artist and a $1,000 stipend to the apprentice.

“Illinois is exceptionally rich in cultural heritage,” says Terry A. Scrogum, IAC Executive Director. “Ethnic and Folk Arts Master/Apprentice Grants help to foster this learning arrangement and sustain the diversity of these traditional art forms.”

Traditional ethnic and folk arts eligible for support include those artistic practices which have a community or family base, express that community’s aesthetic, heritage and tradition, and have endured through several generations. These art forms are expressions of the particular culture of the regional, national, ethnic, tribal, or language group from which they originate.

The Master/Apprentice Program generally supports art forms found in informal rather than institutional settings. A “Master Artist” is an individual recognized within his or her community as an exemplary practitioner of his or her traditional or classical ethnic art form. An “Apprentice” is an individual with some experience in a traditional or classical ethnic art form who is committed to attaining mastery of that art.

For additional information about the Master Apprentice Program, contact Susan Dickson, Acting Director of Ethnic and Folk Arts, by email at iac1.program1@illinois.gov or by phone at 312/814-6740 or 800/237-6994 (toll free within Illinois). Individuals who are deaf or have hearing or voice impairments can call 312/814-4831 TTY.

Awards are based on the recommendation of three out-of-state jurors who are cultural specialists: Susan Eleuterio of Highland IN; Elena Martinez of New York, NY; and Lisa Rathje of Harrisburg, PA.

Illinois Arts Council Fiscal Year 2008 Master Apprentice Award Recipients:

  • Master Artist Tatsu Aoki of Oak Park has been awarded a grant to teach the Japanese Shamisen (lute music) to Amy Homma of Chicago. 
  • Master Artist San Bun of Chicago has been awarded a grant to teach Cambodian Music to Paul Arun Chhorm of Des Plaines. 
  • Master Artist Kazuhiro Masuda of Chicago has been awarded a grant to teach Japanese Classical Dance to Rika Lin of Schaumburg. 
  • Master Artist Carlos Mejia of Chicago has been awarded a grant to teach Guatemalan Marimba to Sheila Alegria of Chicago. 
  • Master Artist Laurence Nugent of Chicago has been awarded a grant to teach Traditional Irish Music to Mary Leandra Baker of Champaign.
  •  Master Artist Hema Rajagopalan of Oak Brook has been awarded a grant to teach Bharatanatyam to Kalaimahal Chandrasegaram of Chicago.
  • Master Artist Bill Robinson of Saint Charles has been awarded a grant to teach the Hammered Dulcimer to Alison Coyer of Earlville.
  • Master Artist Magdalena Solarz of Glenview has been awarded a grant to teach Polish Folk Dance to Elizabeth Cebula of Chicago. 
  • Master Artist Charushree Swaminathan of Willowbrook has been awarded a grant to teach Indian Classical Music to Vijay Vishwanath Gupte of Vernon Hills.
  • Master Artist Vera Samycia of Hoffman Estates has been awarded a grant to teach Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Egg Decoration) to Harriet Kurp of Des Plaines. 
  • Master Artist Beixing Xiang of Elk Grove Village has been awarded a grant to teach Chinese Erhu Music to Ivy Lei of Naperville.

About the Illinois Arts Council: The Illinois Arts Council was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965 to survey and assess the needs of the arts throughout the state; identify existing legislation, policies, and programs which affect the arts and evaluate their effectiveness; stimulate public understanding of the importance of cultural institutions; promote an encouraging atmosphere for creative artists in Illinois; and encourage the use of local resources to develop and support the arts.