Features

From listening to tales at the feet of her Grandaddy Murphy and on the knee of her Uncle Buster in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Alcoa, Tennessee, African-American storyteller Linda Goss has blazed a trail in the Black Storytelling Tradition. She is called “Mama Linda” in honor of...
Basque Musician and Tradition Bearer Dan Ansotegui was raised by the scents and tastes of his mother’s cooking and the sound of his father’s music. The music came from the accordion and the aromas that filled the house were brought to this country by his grandmother Epi. His exposure to the...
Balafon player and djeli Balla Kouyaté’s lineage goes back more than 800 years to Balla Faséké, the first of an unbroken line of djelis in the Kouyaté clan. The word “djeli” derives from the Mandinka language, meaning the oral historians, musicians, and performers who keep alive and celebrate the...
Storyteller Grant Bulltail comes from one of the last of the traditional storytelling families of the Apsáalooke or Crow people. He is a member of the Úuwuutasshe (Greasy Mouth) clan, and a child of his father's clan, the Ashiíooshe (Sore Lip) clan. His Crow name is Bishéessawaache (The One Who...
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...
At the National Endowment for the Arts, we look forward to June, when we can share our appreciation of African-American music with the rest of the world during African-American Music Appreciation Month. While the agency has championed jazz for decades, especially with its NEA Jazz Masters program,...
Based in northern New York, the Mohawk people of Akwesasne have a long and rich history—too long and too rich to be adequately showcased in a small museum located in the library basement, which is where many of the community’s cultural treasures are currently housed. “Very inadequate space for a...
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to recognize these artists and the important role they play in our nation’s vibrant cultural landscape. Whether it’s through storytelling, mentoring, or performance, these Heritage Fellows are committed to sharing their art forms with others.” — Mary...
There was not one seismic incident that prompted Carlos Samaniego to resurrect Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles in 2014, an organization he briefly formed in 2000 while attending Cal State LA. Rather, it was the result of years of mockery and harassment he endured as an openly gay musician in the...
As in many Native cultures, the Cherokee community often uses the terms “uncle” and “aunty” when talking to any elder, blood-related or not. It symbolizes that tribe represents a family larger than one’s biological relatives, and that whoever you are, or whatever your circumstances, you always have...

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