Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announces selection of five Florida folk artists to serve as masters in the 2013–14 Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program; George Altman, Marisol Blanco, Mark Johnson, Michael Kernahan, Louines Louinis

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 20, 2014


CONTACT: Brittany Lesser, 850.245.6522




Secretary Detzner Announces the Selection of Five Master Folk Artists


Five master artists chosen to help preserve Florida’s folk arts




TALLAHASSEE— Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced the selection of five Florida folk artists to serve as masters in the 2013–14 Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program. The chosen artists are buckskin cow-whip maker George Altman (Wauchula), Afro-Cuban Orisha dancer Marisol Blanco (Miami), Clawgrass banjo performer Mark Johnson (Dunnellon), steel pan builder and tuner Michael Kernahan (Cutler Bay), and Haitian drummer Louines Louinis (Pembroke Pines).


“Folk arts, such as crafts, music, dance, storytelling, and occupational arts, are a reflection of our cultural traditions and diversity,” said Secretary Detzner. “These five master folk artists help ensure the survival of important aspects of Florida’s heritage by teaching their crafts to apprentices.”


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.


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 Folklife Apprenticeship Program is May 15, 2014.


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 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 850.245.6427 or 1.800.847.PAST.






About the Florida Folklife Program

The Florida Folklife Program, a component of the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources, documents and presents Florida’s folklife, folklore and folk arts. The program coordinates a wide range of activities and projects designed to increase the awareness of Floridians and visitors alike about Florida’s traditional culture. Established in 1979 by the legislature to document and present Florida folklife, this program is one of the oldest state folk arts programs in the nation. For more information about Florida folklife, visit flheritage.com/preservation/folklife/.

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