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'The Makings of a Master' Opens with Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration

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Bill MonroeFrankfort, KY -- The new exhibition "The Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships" will open Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, in the Keeneland Changing Exhibits Gallery at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in downtown Frankfort. The opening day of the exhibition will feature a concert in celebration of Bill Monroe's 100th birthday. "Bluegrass Masters: A Celebration of the Bill Monroe Centennial," featuring master bluegrass musician Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-Press, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History at 100 W. Broadway in Frankfort. Two more concerts are scheduled: "Kentucky Women in Old-Time Music," featuring the Reel World String Band and Carla Gover, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20; and "East Meets West: Fiddling and Thumbpicking Guitar in Kentucky," featuring Eddie Pennington, Steve Rector, Roger Cooper, John Harrod and Alonzo Pennington, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17.

"The Commonwealth of Kentucky is rich in diverse cultural folk groups and master artists who carry on their traditions," said Kentucky Folklife Program Director Bob Gates. "Master musicians, dancers, craftspeople and other artists share a special relationship with those they teach within their communities. The Kentucky Folklife Program is proud to have documented these art forms over the past 20 years with the Kentucky Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program."

Through stories and artifacts, visitors will discover some of the many traditions carried on in Kentucky, including old-time string music, storytelling, Chinese dancing, square dance calling, Central American alfombras (temporary carpet of dyed sawdust for use in Holy Week worship), basket making and thumbpicking guitar style. "The Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships" explores the relationship between masters and apprentices, drawing from the 60 apprenticeships documented by the Kentucky Folklife Program between 1993 and 2011. After its initial viewing at the Center for Kentucky History, the exhibition will tour the Commonwealth stopping at a variety of venues, including arts centers, history centers, libraries, state parks, festivals, colleges and universities.

The exhibition and all related concerts and programs are free with admission to the Kentucky Historical Society during its regular hours of operation through Saturday, Dec. 10.

The exhibition is the product of the Kentucky Folklife Program, an interagency program of the Kentucky Arts Council and Kentucky Historical Society. "The Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships" is funded, in part, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. For information about "The Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships," visit

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