Statement on the Death of NEA National Heritage Fellow Judith McCulloh

Judith McCulloh

Judith McCulloh signs the Librarian of Congress's guest book at the 2010 NEA National Heritage Fellowships banquet. Photo by Michael G. Stewart

It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of Judith McCulloh, recipient of the 2010 Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship for her lifetime of work as a devoted scholar, folklorist, and folk arts advocate.

In a 2010 podcast the with NEA, McCulloh said: "I think part of the inescapable appeal of folklore is its intimacy and its significance for the people who carry it on and shape it, reshape it in some way. It's such an essential part of people's lives whether they put a label to it or not. If in this complex and troubled world we have cause to appreciate the beauties and the positive forces around us—the potential that people have—we really need to understand and appreciate what makes all these people who they are and what they are, what they value, what's important to them. I think if we spent a little more time looking at what people hold so dear that they pass knowledge and art and practices on to their friends, their children, their communities. If we can appreciate that we will be better people for it and the world would be a better place for it."

Visit the NEA's website for more information about Judith McCulloh and to listen to the full podcast.

# # #

Related Content


Judy McCulloh

Awarded the 2010 Bess Lomax Hawes Award for the preservation of cultural heritage, Judith McCulloh talks about her extensive work as a folklorist and editor at the University of Illinois Press.

Judith McCulloh

As a devoted scholar, folklorist, and folk arts advocate, Judith McCulloh embodies the very spirit of the Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship.


NEA Public Affairs