Art Works Blog

From the Archives: Each One Teach One

1995 National Heritage Fellow Wayne Henderson, noted luthier and musician, is rooted in the mountains of southwestern Virginia—as is the traditional and bluegrass music he holds so dear to his heart. Wayne learned both guitar-making and playing from the people in and around his community. Significantly, it was an area that included a 1988 National Heritage Fellow—the brilliant guitarist Doc Watson. Watson would become a friend and mentor to Wayne Henderson—who, in turn, is now mentor and friend to young people who want to learn traditional mountain music and those who want to make the instruments that give it substance. (All photos by Pat Jarrett/Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.)

This piece originally appeared in the 2017 double issue of NEA Arts magazine: NEA Jazz Masters/NEA National Heritage Fellowships: Celebrating 35 Years.

We're less than a month away from celebrating the 2019 NEA National Heritage Fellows at our annual Heritage Fellowships Concert, to be held this year on Friday, September 20 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall (and viewable via webcast at Get information about tickets and about the Medals Ceremony, which is also free and open to the public, here. We hope you'll visit the National Heritage Fellows section on to learn more about the master artists who have been selected this year to receive our nation's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. 


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