Traditional arts express a community's heritage and living cultural practices. The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP) recognizes the knowledge and skills of distinguished mentor artists and supports them in passing living traditions on to promising apprentices of the same cultural heritage and community.
A state-level honor of great prestige, TAAP awards are often a precursor for traditional artists to be nominated for the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship award.
Eligible artists may come from the same ethnic, Tribal, occupational, regional, or religious group. Oregon is home to a diverse range of traditional arts including but not limited to Southeast Asian dance, Mexican-American embroidery, Americana fiddling, African-American gospel singing, saddle making and rawhide braiding for working cowboys, Native American basket weaving, and Northwest logger poetry.