NEA Arts Magazine

NEA National Heritage Fellows Honored at the US Capitol


NEA Chairman and the Heritage Fellows

NEA Chairman Dana Gioia (foreground, far left) with the 2004 National Heritage Fellows. Photo: Robert Burgess

On September 30th, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia and Members of Congress presented the 2004 NEA National Heritage Fellowships in a Capitol Hill ceremony.

Ten fellowships representing the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts were presented to 12 artists from ten states. These awardees were chosen for their artistic excellence and contributions to cultural heritage. The fellowship includes a one-time award of $20,000.

The following evening, the Fellows performed at Lisner Auditorium, on the campus of George Washington University. Guest host Sam Donaldson
(of ABC News) joined Master of Ceremonies Nick Spitzer (of PRI’s "American Routes") for an evening of performances and artist interviews.

The NEA National Heritage events are supported by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.

2004 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Recipients

Anjani Ambegaokar, North Indian Kathak dancer (Diamond Bar, CA)
Charles “Chuck” T. Campbell, sacred steel guitar player (Rochester, NY)
Joe Derrane, Irish-American button accordionist (Randolph, MA)
Jerry Douglas, Dobro player (Nashville, TN)
Gerald “Subiyay” Miller, Skokomish oral tradition bearer, carver, basket maker (Shelton, WA)
Milan Opacich, Tamburitza instrument maker (Shererville, IN)
Eliseo and Paula Rodriguez, straw appliqué artists (Santa Fe, NM)Koko Taylor, Blues musician (Country Club Hills, IL)
Yuqin Wang and Zhengli Xu, Chinese rod puppeteers (Aloha, OR)

2004 Bess Lomax Hawes Award
Chum Ngek, Cambodian musician and teacher (Gaithersburg, MD)