Art Works Blog

For over six years, community artist Alexis Iammarino has made engaging art in the small coastal town of Rockland, Maine. From vibrant murals all the way to a curatorial public history project about the origins of the American-style donut, her multidisciplinary artwork stands out because it’s...
Manuel Cuevas —rodeo tailor and 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellow—learned to sew when he was just seven years old. After an early start designing prom dresses in his native Mexico, in the early 1950s Cuevas moved to Hollywood, where he worked with leading designers such as rodeo tailor Nathan Turk...
Twenty years ago, when movie-viewing options were limited to theaters and Blockbuster, there was a questionable gap between the substantial Latino population in Austin, Texas, and the scarcity of Spanish-language movies available. In response, the film festival Cine Las Americas was founded in 1998...
"Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance." -- James Baldwin
For Chicago-born and raised artist Carlos Rolón , becoming an artist wasn't a single "Aha!" moment but rather a series of moments that, strung together, stirred his curiosity and illuminated his path. There was, for example, the poster from the Art Institute of Chicago—possibly of a John Singer...
“I don’t know why I was drawn to the son huasteco ,” recalled 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellow Artemio Posadas in an interview with Daniel Sheehy in 2005. [Editor's Note: Daniel Sheehy became an NEA National Heritage Fellow in 2015.] “I believe it was the falsetto that really got to me, along with...
A few years ago, when artist Maria Aldana was working with Baltimore residents to build a community altar for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a woman came in visibly excited to participate. “She said, ‘I used to make altars every year back home, but when I moved to the United States, I just...
"I think if we spent a little more time looking at what people hold so dear that they pass knowledge and art and practices on to their friends, their children, their communities, if we can appreciate that, we will be better people for it and the world would be a better place for it." -- 2010 NEA...
What if the cost of having a creatively fulfilling job that allowed you to have a measurable impact on your community meant a seven-day work week, no health insurance, and no guarantee that any of the several jobs you were juggling to keep financially afloat were going to exist year to year? That...
There are a ton of exciting new books coming out all the time (we know because we support many of them through our grants to literary presses and journals!). It sometimes feels overwhelming trying to decide what book to read next, which is why the NEA literature staff loves a good book...

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