NEA National Heritage Fellowships

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A woman stands in a field twirling while wearing a black and white woven robe.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Tlingit weaver and basketmaker Teri Rofkar from Sitka, Alaska, recipient of a 2009 NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Teri...
Ramón "Chunky" Sánchez sits in a wheelchair, holding a guitar and smiling, in front of a large group of communitiy members and performers wearing colorful and elaborate Aztec costumes.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Chicano musician and culture bearer Ramón “Chunky” Sánchez , recipient of a 2013 NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. A musician...
A woman sitting in a chair holds a quilt
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Bettye Kimbrell, a quilter from Mt. Olive, Alabama, and recipient of a 2008 NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Kimbrell was...
A man in a purple shirt and gold and black vest sits behind a musical instrument made up of eight small gongs.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of 1995 NEA National Heritage Fellow Danongan Kalanduyan from San Francisco, California. Danongan Sibay Kalanduyan was born May 1, 1947, in the fishing village of Datu Piang in the...
Photo collage of the 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellows
Washington, DC —One of our country’s greatest qualities is the diversity and richness of our cultural heritage, ranging from artistic traditions that have been practiced here for hundreds of years to those newly introduced by recent immigrants. Nine of these unique traditions...
Woman in traditional dress holding a woven basket and standing in a large field.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of 2002 NEA National Heritage Fellow and Passamaquoddy basketweaver Clara Neptune Keezer . In addition to teaching dozens of young people her skills, Keezer made significant innovations to...
Joe Derrane at home with his accordion
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of Irish-American button accordionist and 2004 NEA National Heritage Fellow Joe Derrane . While a senior at Roxbury Mission High School in Massachusetts, Derrane recorded the first of what...
headshots of nine artists
Washington, DC —Masters of art forms ranging from Native-American basketmaking, to Laotian khaen playing, to Mardi Gras Indian traditions will receive the 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellowships, our nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. These nine individuals...
Ralph Stanley, bluegrass musician standing in front of his band's tour bus
Washington, DC— It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing on Thursday of legendary bluegrass musician Dr. Ralph Stanley, recipient of a 1984 NEA National Heritage Fellowship and a 2004 National Medal of Arts. Stanley was born...
man kneeling outside with face jug
Washington, DC —It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of 1992 National Heritage Fellow Jerry Brown, a potter from Hamilton, Alabama. Brown was a ninth generation potter whose craft honored both traditional forms such as churns,...

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