Master Artists Honored at Free Concert and Awards Ceremony
Washington, DC—One of our country’s greatest qualities is the diversity and richness of our cultural heritage, ranging from artistic traditions that have been practiced here for hundreds of years to those newly introduced by recent immigrants. Nine of these unique traditions will be showcased on stage this September, when the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) hosts its annual NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert. This will take place on Friday, September 30, 2016 at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC. The NEA will also recognize these artists at an awards ceremony at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.
The NEA National Heritage Fellowship is our nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Each year the National Endowment for the Arts honors a select number of artists for their artistic accomplishments and efforts to share their knowledge with the next generation.
NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert
The concert will take place Friday, September 30, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. The concert will feature performances and craft demonstrations by the 2016 Heritage Fellows and will be hosted by cultural heritage advocate Dan Sheehy, recipient of a 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellowship.
The 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellows are:
- Bryan Akipa (Sisseton, SD) – Dakota Flute Maker and Player
- Joseph Pierre "Big Chief Monk" Boudreaux (New Orleans, LA) – Mardi Gras Indian Craftsman and Musician
- Billy McComiskey (Baltimore, MD) – Irish Button Accordionist
- Artemio Posadas* (San Jose, CA) – Master Huastecan Son (Mexican Musical Tradition) Musician and Advocate
- Clarissa Rizal (Juneau, AK) – Tlingit Ceremonial Regalia Maker
- Theresa Secord (Waterville, ME) – Penobscot Nation Ash/Sweetgrass Basketmaker
- Bounxeung Synanonh (Fresno, CA) – Laotian Khaen (free-reed mouth organ) Player
- Michael Vlahovich (Tacoma, WA/St. Michaels, MD) – Master Shipwright
- Leona Waddell (Cecilia, KY) – White Oak Basketmaker
*Artemio Posadas is the recipient of the 2016 Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowship in recognition of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.
Among the concert highlights are a performance by Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles, who have been longtime featured performers at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, as well as a performance by 1994 NEA National Heritage Fellow Liz Carroll, who will perform with Billy McComiskey.
Attend the concert in person:
Free tickets to the concert are available online at Lisner.gwu.edu or in person at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium Box Office at 730 21st Street NW in Washington, DC, and the House of Musical Traditions at 7010 Westmoreland Avenue in Takoma Park, Maryland. PLEASE NOTE: Ticket-holders should arrive by 7:45 p.m. At that time, all unclaimed tickets will be released to those in the stand-by line.
Watch the live webcast:
The concert will be live streamed at arts.gov. Viewers can share comments and photos on Twitter using the hashtag #NEAHeritage16.
NEA National Heritage Fellowships Awards Ceremony
The awards ceremony takes place on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at the Library of Congress. NEA Chairman Jane Chu and Members of Congress will present the awards to the recipients, who will give short remarks. The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET in the Library of Congress's Coolidge Auditorium in the Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street SE in Washington, DC. Following the ceremony, there will be a reception with the artists. This event is open to the public and no tickets are required.
In addition, the 2016 National Heritage Fellows will be spotlighted in an episode of public radio's American Routes the week of Thanksgiving. The episode will feature performances from the concert and interviews with the artists as well as music and conversations with previous recipients of NEA National Heritage Fellowships. For more information, go to americanroutes.org in November 2016.
Members of the media who wish to attend the awards ceremony, concert, or request photographs from either event should contact Liz Auclair at email@example.com.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through 2016. Go to arts.gov/50th to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary timeline.
Liz Auclair, 202-682-5744, firstname.lastname@example.org