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Young Tradition Festival

Visit the Young Tradition Festival pages to learn more!

The Young Tradition Festival is an annual event most often held on the first full weekend in May and the weekdays prior. It is a week-long celebration of the multi-generational mentoring relationships in diverse traditional music and dance communities. Young folks are the major focus, supported by teachers, mentors, friends and families. They will put into practice what inspires them, what they learn, as well as their ability to perform, to be inspired by and to inspire others. The contest is designed to encourage young musicians and dancers to perform and support their involvement in traditional music and dance. In addition to cash prizes, the winners are provided performance opportunities in the region and linkages that support their continued implication.

The festival features three key events:

  • The Mentor-Student Showcase
  • The Young Tradition Contest Finals
  • A tribute concert focusing on the masters and apprentices involved with Vermont Folklife Center’s Apprenticeship Program

Established in 1991, the Vermont Folklife Center’s Vermont Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (VTAAP) was created to support Vermont’s living cultural heritage. This program brings together master artists and apprentices dedicated to keeping traditional arts vital and relevant to the communities who practice them and beyond. In addition to supporting communities in retaining and invigorating their cultural identities, VTAAP focuses on assisting individual artists in achieving their goals.

How it works

Video submissions (YouTube or Vimeo links) are accepted for each year’s Festival. Ten finalists are selected from the submissions we receive and featured during the Festival in May. Cash prizes are awarded to all finalists, and the top three finalists receive $250 (3rd), $500 (2nd) and $1,000 (1st).

For more information, contact YT Festival Manager Yasi Zeichner at, or YTV Executive Director Mark Sustic at