NEA National Heritage Fellowships

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Man holding carved decoy of a duck.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of master decoy carver Harry V. Shourds , recipient of a 1989 NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. He was the first New Jersey...
Country singer with guitar sitting
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Cajun musician/songwriter Doris Leon "D.L." Menard . Menard was the recipient of a 1994 NEA National Heritage Fellowship – the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. D...
headshots of artists in two rows with graphic of a medal on either side
Washington, DC — Across the United States there are traditional art forms that shape our culture and make our communities distinct, whether it’s conjunto music in Texas, old-time buckdancing in Tennessee, or Chilkat weaving in Alaska. For the past 35 years, the National...
Hugh McGraw 1982. Photo by Tom Pich
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of shape note singer Hugh McGraw . McGraw was in the first class of recipients of the NEA National Heritage Fellowship -– the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts -– in...
Peter Kyvelos 2001. Photo by Tom Pich
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Peter Kyvelos , an oud maker from Bedford, Massachusetts, and recipient of a 2001 NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Kyvelos...
A man in a red checkered shirt plays the guitar
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Eddie Kamae , Hawaiian musician, composer, filmmaker, and recipient of a 2007 NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Eddie Kamae...
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Dorothy Trumpold , a rug weaver from East Amana, Iowa, and recipient of a 2001 NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Trumpold grew...
A woman stands on a shore wearing a woven blue and yellow blanket.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of Clarissa Rizal , a Tlingit ceremonial regalia maker, from Juneau, Alaska, and recipient of a 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional...
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...

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