NEA National Heritage Fellowships

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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...
A photo of a man with curly brown hair and an orange shirt.
Washington, D.C. –The National Endowment for the Arts has selected Clifford Murphy as its new director of folk and traditional arts, effective August 24, 2015. Murphy will manage NEA grantmaking in folk and traditional arts, oversee the NEA National Heritage Fellowship program,...
Man in a beige suit plays the electric guitar with a man on drums and another man on guitar in the background
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing vocalist, guitarist, pianist, and songwriter Wendell Holmes, one third of the blues, gospel, and R&B band the Holmes Brothers, recipient of a 2014 National Heritage Fellowship, the...
Headshots of the 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellows
Washington, DC—One of the strengths of our nation is our constantly evolving artistic landscape. Each year the National Endowment for the Arts celebrates master folk and traditional artists that embody this strength and diversity of culture. The recipients of this year’s NEA...
headshot of dulcimer player smiling
Washington, DC —It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of 2002 National Heritage Fellow Jean Ritchie. A musician and songwriter, Ritchie was also a cultural activist and chronicler of her home region. She received the Bess...
Headshot of Joe Wilson
It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of folklorist, advocate and presenter Joe Wilson , the 2001 recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. While he was a...
B.B. King on guitar
"…Welcome the world's greatest blues singer, the king of the blues, B.B. King!" That was most people's introduction to King (and often to the blues itself), from his 1965 album Live at the Regal , one of the most popular blues albums ever and a selection for permanent...

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