Wyoming Arts Council

Folk & Traditional Arts Mentoring Project Grants

Mentoring Project Grants are designed to support the transmission of Wyoming’s finest Folk and Traditional skills through the natural process of in-person, hands-on instruction.  A master artist selects a worthy apprentice to mentor over time in order to advance the skills of the apprentice in their traditional art form or skill.

The Wyoming Arts Council introduced the Folk & Traditional Arts Mentoring Program in 2005 as part of its on-going effort to increase support and recognition of Wyoming’s rich cultural arts and traditions. Funds originally came from a National Endowment for the Arts Infrastructure grant provided to the Wyoming Arts Council’s Arts Access Grant Program. Current funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts through the Folk Arts Partnership grant.

Fiscal Year 2024 Folk Art Mentoring Grant Recipients

The Wyoming Arts Council is pleased to announce the 5 recipients of the fiscal year 2024 Folk & Traditional Arts Mentoring Project Grants. The recipients are: 

-Kalen SunRhodes (Northern Arapaho), teaching Colton SunRhodes (Northern Arapaho), both of Ethete, the art of Prairie Chicken Dance Regalia Making (pictured, left)

-Amanda Fraker, teaching Ryelene Mespelt, both of Moorcroft, the art of Western Leatherwork.

-Aloysious (Luke) Bell, Jr. (Northern Arapaho)  teaching Kane BigLake (Northern Arapaho), both of Riverton, the art of Northern Arapaho Drum Making. 

-Justine Nelson-Graham, of Weston, teaching Carson Martinson, of Gillette, the art of Rawhide Braiding. 

-John Blair, of Greybull, teaching Matt Avery, of Rozet, the art of Western Saddlemaking.

Mentoring Project Grant Description

Master and Apprentice apply together and provide information about the art form, their skill level, a project outline and work samples. The mentorship must take place between July 1 and June 30 and projects must be no shorter than six months.

Up to five projects will be selected for funding at $5,000 each ($4000 for the master artist’s honorarium and $1000 for supplies and travel).  All project costs over $5,000 must be paid by the award recipient.

Application Information

See below for deadlines and application link.

Click here for the online application.

Review a printable copy of the application to prepare.

Accommodations can be made for applicants with limited access to a computer or internet.


  • Applicants must share a common cultural group and the art form must reflect the aesthetics of the shared group. In-family mentorships are allowed.
  • Master and apprentice must apply together.
  • Artists may participate in only one Mentoring Project each year.
  • Apprentices must be Wyoming residents for at least two years prior to application.
  • Apprentices should have some prior experience with the art form at the time of the application.
  • Apprentices must demonstrate a serious long-term commitment to continuing the art form.

Not eligible

  • The work of contemporary studio artists or re-creations of historic repertoires or antiques.
  • Academic research or formal study toward an academic or professional degree.
  • Projects less than six (6) months.
  • Workshops or conferences.

Application Evaluation and Selection

Applications are reviewed and evaluated by a panel of cultural specialists, folklorists, artists and WAC board members using the following criteria:

  • Quality of the work as demonstrated by the support materials of both the master and the apprentice.
  • How the art form and artists fit within the definition of folk and traditional art.
    Priority may be given to projects that involve endangered traditions and/or art forms.
  • Commitment of the apprentice to continuing the traditional skills learned.
  • Feasibility of the proposed work plan.

The full WAC board reviews the panel recommendations and makes the final selection of funded projects.  Applicants are notified in June of the Art Council Board decisions.

Previously Funded  Folk Art Mentorship Recipients


Wool Saddle Pad Making Master Artist: Anita Thatcher Apprentice: Franki Scott

Ceremonial Rawhide Rattle Making Master Artist: Darrell Lonebear, Sr (Northern Arapaho) Apprentice: Darrell Lonebear, Jr (Northern Arapaho)

Leatherwork Master Artist: Eric Hannig (Navajo) Apprentice: Adonis Sheeley

Hoop Dancing Master Artist: Jasmine Pickner Bell (Crow Creek Dakota Sioux) Apprentice: Aloysia Bell (Northern Arapaho/Crow Creek Dakota Sioux)

Fully Beaded Cradleboard Making Master Artist: Marcus Dewey (Northern Arapaho) Apprentice: Veronica Miller (Northern Arapaho)


Eagle Feather Fan Making Master Artist: Vicki Engavo (Eastern Shoshone) Apprentice: Becky Bercier (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)

Big Horn Ram’s Horn Bow Making Master Artist: Rich Singer (Crow) Apprentice: Winslow Friday (Northern Arapaho)

Traditional Plains Indian Women’s Dress Making Master Artist: Gloria Runs Close to Lodge-Goggles (Oglala Lakota) Apprentice: Jenn Runs Close to Lodge (Oglala Lakota)

Western Saddlemaking Master Artist: Steve Mecum Apprentice: Misty Corlett

Traditional Jemez Pueblo Pottery Master Artist: Rose Pecos-SunRhodes (Jemez Pueblo) Apprentice: Jayce OldCoyote (Jemez Pueblo/Northern Arapaho/Crow)

Bit and Spur Making Master Artist: Ernie Marsh Apprentice: Amy Erickson

Lazy-stitch Style Beadwork Master Artist: Charles Dewey (Northern Arapaho) Apprentice: Lynelle Shakespeare (Northern Arapaho)

Traditional Blacksmithing Master Artist: David Osmundsen Apprentice: Lauren Phillips

Western Saddlemaking Master Artist: John Blair Apprentice: Matt Avery

Elk Teeth Trade-Cloth Dress Making Master Artist: Renee’ Enos-Reed (Eastern Shoshone) Apprentice: DaleRae Green (Eastern Shoshone)

Mariachi Music Master Artist: Loree Sanchez Apprentice: Estela Torres Guernsey

Leather Carving Master Artist: Robert Poff Apprentice: Marta Maulik

Bladesmithing and Damascus Steel Master Artist: Adam DesRosiers Apprentice: Kevin Willey


Eastern Shoshone Cradleboard Making Master Artist: Raphaella Stump Apprentice: Ralphalita Stump

Traditional Bladesmithing Master Artist: Audra Draper Apprentice: Stan Castagno

Wool Saddle Pad Weaving Master Artist: Anita Thatcher Apprentices: Annalissa Purdum & Soleiana Abernathy

Quilting Master Artist: Yong Hui Torske Apprentice: Jill Wright


Arapaho Warshirt making and beadwork Master Artist: Marcus Dewey Apprentice: James Dewey

Arapaho Sweat Lodge songs Master Artist: Darrell Lone Bear, Sr Apprentice: Koleton Lone Bear

Western Saddlemaking Master Artist: Andy Stevens Apprentice: Dusty Smith

Rawhide braiding Master Artist: Jack Mease Apprentice: Soleiana Abernathy


Luthiery (stringed instrument making) Master Artist: Daniel Roberts Apprentice: Miss V

Blacksmithing Master Artist: David Osmundsen Apprentice: Michael Landsiedel

Eastern Shoshone Dollmaking Master Artist: Ralphaelita Stump Apprentice: Raphaella Stump

Arapaho Hand Drum Making Master Artist: Darrell Lone Bear, Sr Apprentice: Koleton Lone Bear


Eastern Shoshone Drum Keeper Master Artist: Wayland Bonatsie Apprentice: Quinlin Hernandez

Northern Cheyenne-style Beadwork Master Artist: Marcus Dewey Apprentice: Carrie White Antelope

Horsehair Hitching Master Artist: Leane Linnell Apprentice: Brook Miller


Northern Arapaho Sweat Lodge Songs Master Artist: Darrell Lone Bear, Sr Apprentice: Tyson Lone Bear

Bighorn Sheep Ram Bow Master Artist: Tom Lucas Apprentice: Travis Lucas

California-style Bit and Spurs Master Artist: Ernie Marsh Apprentice: James Gullion

Braided Rawhide Horse Gear Master Artist: Jessie Smith Apprentice: Jeremy Madole


Cowboy Leatherwork Master Artist: Niki DeLancy ApprenticeMcKenzi Digby

Teepee bags/panniers Master Artist: Marcus Dewey Apprentice: Charles Dewey

Western Leatherwork Master Artist: Von Ringler Apprentice: Alex Whistler


Old-style Intertribal songs Master Artist: Patrick Iron Cloud, Sr. Apprentice:  Norman and Sam Iron Cloud

Arapaho hand drum making Master Artist: Darrell Lone Bear, Sr. Apprentice: Tyson Lone Bear

Rawhide braiding Master Artist: Jack Mease Apprentice: Sally Hovendick

Rug braiding Master Artist: Norma M. Sturges Apprentice: Ellen Sue Blakey


Saddle building Master Artist: Keith Duncan Apprentice: Kurt Olson

Rug braiding Master Artist: Norma M. Sturges Apprentice: Ellen Sue Blakey

Rawhide making and braiding Master Artist: Nate Wald Apprentice: Caleb French

Old-time Fiddling Master Artist: Kelly Wells Apprentice: Kayla Palmer


Warrior shirt Master Artist: Elizabeth Jane Brown Apprentice: Danielle Brown

Beaded leggings Master Artist: Marcus Dewey Apprentice: Veronica Miller

Rams horn bow Master Artist: Tom Lucas Apprentice: Richard Singer

Arapaho beaded buckskin dress Master Artist: Annie Sage Apprentice: Janelle Denny

E Shoshone Woman’s traditional saddle Master Artist: Joanne Seesequasis Apprentice: Larry McAdams


Eastern Shoshone woman’s saddle Master Artist: Charlotte Alley Apprentice: Amanda Alley

Jewish and Israeli dance Master Artist: Bea Montross Apprentice: Mary Weinstein

Horsehair hitching Master Artist: Richard Gould Apprentice: Leane Linnell

Arapaho and Lakota women’s singing Master Artist: Sandra Iron Cloud Apprentice: Rebecca Iron Cloud

Rawhide and leather braiding Master Artist: Jack Mease Apprentice: Mila Ready


Eastern Shoshone cradleboards Master Artist: Charlotte Alley Apprentice: Lynelle Shakespeare

Shoshone Drum making and playing Master Artist: Wayland Bonatsie Apprentice: Quinlin Hernandez

Western saddle tree making Master Artist: G. K. Fraker Apprentice: Steve Dabbs

Plains Indian parfleche Master Artist: Gloria Goggles Apprentice: Jennifer Runs Close to Lodge

Rawhide braiding Master Artist: Jack Mease Apprentice: Brenda Hovendick


Saddle building Master Artist: Don Butler ApprenticeTom Stevie

Native American willow back rest Master Artist: William Chippewa Apprentice: Patrick Thayer

Tatting Master Artist: Mary Maynard Apprentice: Molly Moyer

Sheep to shawl Master Artist: Avis Richardson Group apprentice

Arapaho beaded buckskin dress Master Artist: Annin Soldier Wolf Apprentice: Cathi Soldier Wolf


Round dance songs Master Artist: Sandra Iron Cloud Apprentice: Norman & Sam Iron Cloud

Tatting Master Artist: Mary Maynard Apprentice: Molly Moyer

Rawhide braiding Master Artist: Jack Mease Apprentice: Michael Stewart

Arapaho women’s traditional regalia Master Artist: Annie Sage Apprentice: Veronica Miller

Arapaho crafts Master Artist: Annin Soldier Wolf Apprentice: Hista and Echo Soldier Wolf

Old-time fiddling Master Artist: Kelly Wells Apprentice: Tally Wells


War shields Master Artist: William Chippewa Apprentice: Patrick Thayer

Men’s beaded vests Master Artist: Cleo Goggles Apprentice: Linda Goggles

Tatting & crochet Master Artist: Mary Maynard Apprentice: Isobel Nichols

Rawhide braiding Master Artist: Jack Mease Apprentice: Mike Alley

Basket weaving & furniture caning Master Artist: Sally O’Connor Apprentice: Maria Foster

Shoshone saddle trappings Master Artist: Reba Jo Teran Apprentice: Georgietta Teran-Acebo


Loom weaving Master Artist: Gerald Curcio Apprentice: Judith Harvey

Performance knives Master Artist: Ed Fowler Apprentice: Tena Osborne

Cowboy music Master Artist: Kevin McNiven Apprentice: Terrell and TeAnna McNiven

Old-time fiddling Master Artist: Kelly Wells Apprentice: Coletta Maier


Shoshone saddles Master Artist: William Chippewa Apprentice: Reba Teran

Shoshone dolls Master Artist: Manfred Guina Apprentice: Reba Teran

Shoshone cradleboards Master Artist: Beatrice Haukaas Apprentice: Georgietta Teran


For more information about Folk & Traditional Arts Mentoring Project Grants please contact the Wyoming Arts Council Folk Arts Program 307-256-2010 or email joshua.chrysler@wyo.gov.

Grant Information

Contact: Josh Chrysler