NEA National Heritage Fellowships

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It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Hawaiian slack key guitarist Cyril Pahinui , recipient of a 2017 NEA National Heritage Fellowship—the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Pahinui is widely recognized...
A man plays the harmonica with his eyes closed.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of African-American harmonica player Elder Roma Wilson , recipient of a 1994 NEA National Heritage Fellowship—the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Born December 22,...
A man sits on a stage behind three steel drums
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of steel pan builder, tuner, and player Elliott “Ellie” Mannette , recipient of a 1999 NEA National Heritage Fellowship—the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Mannette...
Headshots of nine individuals with next saying 2018 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowships
Washington, DC —This September, the National Endowment for the Arts will host two free events to celebrate the recipients of our nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts, the NEA National Heritage Fellows. The awards ceremony on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 is an...
Headshots of nine individuals with next saying 2018 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowships
Washington, DC — Today the National Endowment for the Arts is announcing the newest recipients of the NEA National Heritage Fellowships, who range from an old-time fiddler to a Day of the Dead altar maker to an R&B musician. The NEA National Heritage Fellowships, awarded...
Five men wearing red suits stand outside wearing sunglasses
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of gospel singer Clarence Fountain , recipient with his band, the Blind Boys of Alabama, of a 1994 NEA National Heritage Fellowship—the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional...
A man works on building a stringed instrument with others behind him watching.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Puerto Rican instrument maker Julio Negrón-Rivera , recipient of a 1985 NEA National Heritage Fellowship—the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Julio Negrón-Rivera...
Two men on a stage playing ukuleles and singing.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Hawaiian singer Richard Ho'opi'i, recipient with his brother, Solomon, of a 1996 NEA National Heritage Fellowship—the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The Ho'opi'i...
A woman sits in front of a drum set
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of klezmer musician Elaine Hoffman Watts from Ardmore, Pennsylvania, recipient of a 2007 NEA National Heritage Fellowship—the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Elaine...
Photo collage of male and female traditional artists
Washington, DC—This September, the National Endowment for the Arts will continue its 35-year tradition of celebrating our nation’s master folk and traditional artists, in what has become an annual anticipated event and an opportunity to learn more about our country’s many...

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