Several medals laid out on a table.

National Heritage Fellowships

The NEA National Heritage Fellowships is the nation's highest honor in folk and traditional arts. Each year since 1982, the program recognizes recipients' artistic excellence, lifetime achievement, and contributions to our nation's traditional arts heritage. See below for information on how to submit a nomination.

The deadline to submit a nomination for the 2025 class of NEA National Heritage Fellows is Tuesday, May 28, 2024.




In May 2024, the NEA premiered a series of tribute films celebrating the lives and work of the nine gifted individuals awarded the 2023 NEA National Heritage Fellowship. Beautifully crafted vignettes take viewers on a journey of discovery into the lives and communities of these artists and provide a glimpse into the history of their art forms and how each fellow contributes to the development and continuation of long-held traditions. Read the full announcement.

Watch the individual films on YouTube

Profiles of the 2023 NEA National Heritage Fellows 




“I am honored to announce the ten gifted recipients that have been named 2024 NEA National Heritage Fellows. Through their dedication to and generous stewardship of their traditions and cultures, these artists and culture bearers carry forward their knowledge and passion to future generations. They offer us the opportunity to see things from different perspectives, help us make sense of the world, and celebrate our rich collective heritage comprised of our diverse lived experiences.” 

— NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD

Read the full announcement



2024 NEA National Heritage Fellows


Bril Barrett

Tap Dancer

Fabian Debora

Chicano Muralist

Rosie Flores

Rockabilly and Country Musician

Trimble Gilbert (Gwich'in)

Gwich'in Fiddler

Todd Goings

Carousel Carver and Restorationist

Pat Johnson

Community Activist and Organizer

June Kuramoto

Koto Musician

Sochietah Ung

Cambodian Costume Maker and Dancer

Zuni Olla Maidens

Traditional Zuni Dancers and Singers

Looking Back

Roots of American Culture: A Cross-Country Visit with Living Treasures of the Folk and Traditional Arts celebrates the 2022 NEA National Heritage Fellowship honorees.

An audio-described option is also available »

2021 Film |  2020 Film |  2019 Concert  |  Photo Gallery

National Heritage Fellows Podcasts

Remembering Phil Wiggins (1954-2024)

Blues Harmonica Player and 2017 National Heritage Fellow

Reginald “Reggio the Hoofer” McLaughlin Revisited

Tap Dancer and 2021 National Heritage Fellow

Nick Spitzer

Folklife Presenter, Educator, Radio Producer, and 2023 Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellow

Nominate a National Heritage Fellow!

The National Endowment for the Arts encourages nominations of master folk and traditional artists to recognize artistic excellence, lifetime achievement, and contributions to our nation's traditional arts heritage.
Make a Nomination