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.



Collage of the nine 2023 NEA National Heritage Fellows

R.L. Boyce Photo credit Rustin Gudim; Ed Eugene Carriere Photo by Dale Croes; Michael A. Cummings Photo courtesy of artist; Joe DeLeon “Little Joe” Hernández Photo by Mark Del Castillo; Roen Hufford Photo credit credit Lynn Martin Graton; Elizabeth James-Perry Photo courtesy of Elizabeth James-Perry; Wu Man Photo by David Bazemore; Nick Spitzer Photo by Rusty Costanza, courtesy of Tulane University; Luis Tapia Photo © Jack Parsons Courtesy of Luis Tapia 

“The 2023 National Heritage Fellows exemplify what it means to live an artful life,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “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.”

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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

Roen Hufford

Kapa Maker

Wu Man

Pipa Player

Nick Spitzer

Folklife Presenter, Educator, and Radio Producer

Luis Tapia

Sculptor, Hispano Woodcarving Tradition

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

TahNibaa Naataanii

Navajo/Diné Textile Artist and Weaver and 2022 National Heritage Fellow

Revisiting Theresa Secord

Penobscot Nation Ash/Sweetgrass Basketmaker and 2016 National Heritage Fellow

C. Brian Williams

Step Artist and Producer and 2022 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