NEA National Heritage Fellowships

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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,...
Standing in front of some of the tools of his craft, Gerald Hawpetoss smiles and holds a pair of small moccassins and an example of his beadwork.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of 1992 National Heritage Fellow Gerald Hawpetoss, a Menominee/Potowatomi Regalia Maker from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hawpetoss’s great-grandmother was an important Menominee moccasin maker and...
A man wearing a baseball hat holds a basket and stands in front of a lake, with several other baskets and children playing in the background.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of 2014 National Heritage Fellow Henry Arquette, a Mohawk basketmaker from Hogansburg, New York. Arquette specialized in the utility baskets traditionally made by the Haudenosaunee Mohawks—...
A man in a cowboy hat and colorful jacket sits in an open field.
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the death of 2008 National Heritage Fellow Horace Axtell, Nez Perce drum maker, singer, and tradition bearer from Lewiston, Idaho. Axtell was a respected elder and a pipe carrier for his tribe, as...
Headshots of the 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellows
Washington, DC —With art forms ranging from blues music to Japanese classical dancing to Cambodian ceramics, the 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellows are recipients of our nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts and represent the diversity and richness of our...

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