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.



“The 2023 National Heritage Fellows exemplify what it means to live an artful life. Their rich and diverse art forms connect us to the past, strengthen our communities today, and give hope to future generations in ways that only the arts can. Our nation is strengthened through their meaningful practices, expressions, and preservation of traditional artistry.” — NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, announcing the 2023 honorees.


National Heritage Fellowships Awards Ceremony—Friday, September 29, 2023, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

NOTE: The live ceremony has concluded. Watch the recording below.

The awards ceremony honored the 2023 National Heritage Fellows and recognized the 2020-2022 recipients. Hosted by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the ceremony opened with a performance by Irish flute player and 2021 NEA National Heritage Fellow Joanie Madden.

Ceremony program (pdf)




2023 NEA National Heritage Fellows


R.L. Boyce

Hill Country Blues Musician

Ed Eugene Carriere (Suquamish)

Suquamish Basketmaker

Michael A. Cummings

African American Quilter

Joe DeLeon “Little Joe” Hernández

Tejano Music Performer

Wu Man

Pipa Player

Nick Spitzer

Folklife Presenter, Educator, and Radio Producer

Luis Tapia

Sculptor, Hispano Woodcarving Tradition

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

Nick Spitzer

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

Revisiting Eva Enciñias

Flamenco Artist and 2022 National Heritage Fellow

Joe Deleon "Little Joe" Hernández

Tejano Music Performer and 2023 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