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National Heritage Fellowship

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

National Heritage Fellowship
Awarded forLifetime achievement in folk or traditional arts
LocationWashington, D.C.
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Endowment for the Arts
First awarded1982
Last awardedpresent
Website Edit this on Wikidata

The National Heritage Fellowship is a lifetime honor presented to master folk and traditional artists by the National Endowment for the Arts. Similar to Japan's Living National Treasure award,[1] the Fellowship is the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.[2][3] It is a one-time only award and fellows must be living citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Each year, fellowships are presented to between nine and fifteen artists or groups at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Fellows are nominated by individual citizens, with an average of over 200 nominations per year. From that pool of candidates, recommendations are made by a rotating panel of specialists, including one layperson, as well as folklorists and others with a variety of forms of cultural expertise. The recommendations are then reviewed by the National Council on the Arts, with the final decisions made by the chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts.[4] As of 2019, 440 artists in a wide variety of fields have received Fellowships.[5]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ 2017 NEA Heritage Award Fellow Eva Ybarra
  • ✪ Edward Babb and the McCollough Sons of Thunder - trombone shout band music from Harlem, New York
  • ✪ Wade Mainer (1907 - 2011)
  • ✪ "Kolomona Slack Key", Performed By Ledward Kaapana And Fran Guidry
  • ✪ "Pipeline/Ghost Riders In The Sky", Performed By Ledward Kaapana



The program was officially founded in 1982 by Bess Lomax Hawes, the first director of the Folk and Traditional Arts Program at the NEA,[6] following a five-year period of development.[4] In 1982, the monetary award associated with the Fellowship was $5,000;[1] in 1993, it was increased to $10,000 and since 2009, the award amount is $25,000, which is considered "enough to make a difference, but not enough to go to anyone's head".[4] Each recipient receives a certificate of honor, the monetary award, and a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States.

The annual recognition events are held in the Fall and consist of an awards ceremony, a banquet, and a concert that is open to the public. Over the years, the awards ceremony has been held at different locations in the US capitol city, including the NEA headquarters, Ford's Theatre, George Washington University,[1] the Library of Congress,[7] and for the first time at the White House in 1995.[8] Since 2000, the banquet has been held in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress.[4] The concert features musical performances, craft demonstrations, and interviews with the honorees.[7] Masters of ceremonies at the concerts have included folksinger Pete Seeger, actress Ruby Dee, author Studs Terkel, journalist Charles Kuralt, and since 1997 Nick Spitzer, the host of public radio program American Routes.[4] Beginning in 2010, the Fellowship concerts have been streamed live on the NEA website and archived on YouTube.

In 2000, the NEA instituted the Bess Lomax Hawes Award in conjunction with the Fellowships, "given to an individual for achievements in fostering excellence, ensuring vitality, and promoting public appreciation of the folk and traditional arts".[7] The Hawes Award has been given annually since 2000 to recognize "artists whose contributions, primarily through teaching, advocacy, and organizing and preserving important repertoires, have greatly benefited their artistic tradition. It also recognizes individuals, such as producers and activists, who have comprehensively increased opportunities for and public visibility of traditional artists."[4]


  • A companion volume titled American Folk Masters: The National Heritage Fellows was published in 1992 to accompany a traveling exhibition (1991-1994) called "America's Living Folk Traditions" that featured the artistry of 36 Fellowship recipients.[1][9]
  • A two-volume biographical dictionary of the award winners from the first 20 years was published in 2001, titled Masters of Traditional Arts.[10]
  • A young readers book featuring five of the National Heritage Fellows entitled Extraordinary Ordinary People: Five American Masters of Traditional Arts was published in 2006.[11]


Awardees have included Native American basket weavers, African American blues musicians, traditional fiddlers, Mexican American accordionists, and all manner of traditional artisans and performers of numerous ethnic backgrounds.

1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990

1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000

2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010

2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019

National Heritage Fellowship winners are:













  • Santiago Almeida, conjunto musician
  • Kenny Baker, bluegrass fiddler
  • Inez Catalon, French Creole singer
  • Nicholas & Elena Charles, Yupik woodcarvers, maskmakers, and skinsewers
  • Charles Hankins, boatbuilder
  • Nalani Kanaka'ole & Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahel, hula masters
  • Everett Kapayou, Mesquakie singer
  • McIntosh County Shouters, spiritual/shout performers
  • Elmer Miller, bit & spur maker/silversmith
  • Jack Owens, blues singer and guitarist
  • Mone & Vanxay Saenphimmachak, weavers, needleworkers, and loommakers
  • Liang-xing Tang, pipa player




  • Obo Addy, drummer
  • Betty Pisio Christenson, egg decorator
  • Paul Dahlin, fiddler
  • Juan Gutiérrez, drummer
  • Solomon & Richard Ho'opi'I, Hawaiian singers
  • Will Keys, banjo player
  • Joaquin Flores Lujan, blacksmith
  • Eva McAdams, Shoshone regalia maker
  • John Mealing & Cornelius Wright, Jr., railroad worksong singers
  • Vernon Owens, stoneware potter
  • Dolly Spencer, Inupiat dollmaker









  • Anjani Ambegaokar, Kathak dancer
  • Charles "Chuck" T. Campbell, Gospel steel guitarist
  • Joe Derrane, Irish-American button accordionist
  • Jerry Douglas, Dobro player
  • Gerald "Subiyay" Miller, Skokomish tradition bearer, carver, basket maker
  • Chum Ngek, Cambodian musician and teacher
  • Milan Opacich, Tamburitza instrument maker
  • Eliseo Rodriguez and Paula Rodriguez, husband and wife straw appliqué artists
  • Koko Taylor, blues musician
  • Yuqin Wang and Zhengli Xu, Chinese rod puppeteers [19]





  • Horace Axtell, Nez Perce drum maker, singer, tradition-bearer
  • Dale Harwood, saddlemaker
  • Bettye Kimbrell, quilter
  • Jeronimo E. Lozano, Peruvian retablo maker
  • Oneida Hymn Singers of Wisconsin
  • Sue Yeon Park, Korean dancer and musician
  • Moges Seyoum, Ethiopian liturgical minister and scholar
  • Jelon Vieira, Capoeira master
  • Dr. Michael White, traditional jazz musician and bandleader
  • Mac Wiseman, Bluegrass musician
  • Walter Murray Chiesa, traditional arts specialist and advocate








  • Henry Arquette, Mohawk basketmaker
  • Manuel "Cowboy" Donley, Tejano musician and singer
  • Kevin Doyle, Irish step dancer
  • The Holmes Brothers, blues, gospel, and R&B band
  • Yvonne Walker Keshick, Odawa quill artist[23]
  • Carolyn Mazloomi, quilting community advocate
  • Vera Nakonechny, Ukrainian embroiderer and bead worker
  • Singing & Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware, African-American religious singers
  • Rufus White, Omaha traditional singer and drum group leader




  • Bryan Akipa, Dakota flute maker and player
  • Monk Boudreaux, Mardi Gras Indian craftsman and musician
  • Billy McComiskey, Irish button accordionist
  • Artemio Posadas, Master Huastecan son musician and advocate
  • Clarissa Rizal, Tlingit ceremonial regalia maker[25]
  • Theresa Secord, Penobscot Nation ash/sweetgrass basketmaker
  • Bounxeung Synanonh, Laotian khaen player
  • Michael Vlahovich, master shipwright
  • Leona Waddell, white oak basketmaker



  • Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, Palestinian embroiderer
  • Eddie Bond, Appalachian fiddler
  • Kelly Church, Gun Lake Band Potawatomi black ash basket maker
  • Marion Coleman, African American quilter
  • Manuel Cuevas, Mexican-American rodeo tailor
  • Ofelia Esparza, Chicana altarista (Day of the Dead altar maker)
  • Barbara Lynn, African American R&B guitarist
  • Don and Cindy Roy, French-American musicians
  • Ethel Raim, advocate for customary music and dance.[26]



  • Dan Ansotegui, Basque musician and tradition bearer
  • Grant Bulltail, Crow storyteller
  • Linda Goss, African-American storyteller
  • James F. Jackson, leatherworker
  • Balla Kouyaté, balafon player and djeli
  • Josephine Lobato, Spanish colcha embroiderer
  • Rich Smoker, decoy carver
  • Las Tesoros de San Antonio: Beatriz "La Paloma del Norte" Llamas and Blanquita "Blanca Rosa" Rodríguez, Tejano singers
  • Bob Fulcher, folklorist


  1. ^ a b c d Siporin, Steve (1992). "Introduction". American Folk Masters: The National Heritage Fellows. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in association with The Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, NM. pp. 14–21. ISBN 0810919176. OCLC 24699109.
  2. ^ "National Endowment for the Arts Announces 2013 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Recipients". US Fed News Service. Washington, DC. June 6, 2013. Archived from the original on December 14, 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  3. ^ Lane, Sarah (September 24, 2015). "Daniel Sheehy Named National Heritage Fellow". The Washington Post. Washington, DC. p. Metro section, T23. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "National Heritage Fellowships 30th Anniversary" (PDF). National Endowment for the Arts. 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b "National Endowment for the Arts Announces 2019 National Heritage Fellows". National Endowment for the Arts. June 18, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  6. ^ Sullivan, Patricia (December 2, 2009). "Bess Lomax Hawes, 88; folklorist, performer, NEA official". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "NEA National Heritage Fellows Fact Sheet" (PDF). National Endowment for the Arts. September 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  8. ^ Trescott, Jacqueline (September 28, 1995). "First Lady Defends NEA: Art Fellowships Presented at the White House". The Washington Post. p. Style section, C03.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Meg (July 3, 1992). "Keeping Traditional Crafts Alive". Daily News of Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA. p. L.A. Life Section, L45.
  10. ^ Govenar, Alan (2001). Masters of Traditional Arts: A Biographical Dictionary. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio. ISBN 1576072401.
  11. ^ Govenar, Alan B. (2006). Extraordinary Ordinary People: Five American Masters of Traditional Arts. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. ISBN 9780763620479.
  12. ^ 1989 NEA National Heritage Fellow: Chesley Goseyun Wilson Archived 2008-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, National Endowment for the Arts (USA)
  13. ^ Colker, David (2014-10-04). "Musician Nati Cano dies at 81; leader of Mariachi los Camperos". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  14. ^ "Jerry Brown". National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  15. ^ Broadfoot, Jan. "Twentieth-Century Tar Heels," Broadfoot's of Wendell, 2004.
  16. ^ "Fatima Kuinova". National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  17. ^ Jason Ankeny. "Elder Roma Wilson". Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  18. ^ "Lifetime Honors: Bruce Caesar." National Endowment for the Arts. (retrieved 6 Aug 2011)
  19. ^ "News | NEA". 2014-02-05. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  20. ^ "Big Joe Duskin; Bluesman who flourished in later life - obituary by Tony Russell". London: June 19, 2007. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
  21. ^ "About Ka'upena Wong". 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  22. ^ "NEA Announces Lifetime Honors Recipients". National Endowment for the Arts. June 25, 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  23. ^ Yohe, Jill Ahlberg; Greeves, Teri (2019). Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists. Minneapolis Institute of Art in association with the University of Washington Press. p. 131. ISBN 9780295745794. LCCN 2018967294. Keshick refers to her practice as 'quill art' rather than 'quill work,' both to assert the aesthetic significance of her creations and to firmly position this artistic practice as a valued art form.
  24. ^ "NEA Announces Recipients of Nation's Highest Award in the Folk and Traditional Arts". National Endowment for the Arts. June 9, 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  25. ^ "National Endowment for the Arts Statement on the Death of Clarissa Rizal, 2016 National Heritage Fellow". National Endowment for the Arts. NEA. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  26. ^ "National Endowment for the Arts Announces 2018 National Heritage Fellows". National Endowment for the Arts. 20 June 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 November 2019, at 22:18
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