Free Events September 28-29 Celebrate NEA National Heritage Fellows

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 

UPDATED: September 27, 2023

Washington, DC—Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has honored more than 450 individuals with the NEA National Heritage Fellowships, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. For its first in-person Heritage Fellowship events since 2019, the NEA will honor the most recent class of honorees and also bring them together with the 2020-2022 honorees to explore the legacy and impact of this lifetime honor. The events below are free and open to the public and the ceremony will also be available through a live webcast at

Native Art Making in Place

WHAT: As part of a historic one-day gathering of National Heritage Fellowship honorees from 2020-2023, a special afternoon panel will feature a film screening and conversation about Native art making and the land, co-presented with the National Museum of the American Indian. NEA National Heritage Fellows will share firsthand stories of place and belonging as understood through their life’s work as traditional and community-based artists.

WHO: NEA National Heritage Fellows Ed Eugene Carriere (Suquamish), Anita Fields (Osage/Muscogee), Karen Ann Hoffman (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Roen Kahalewai Hufford (Hawaiian), Elizabeth James-Perry (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Aquinnah), TahNibaa Naataanii (Navajo/Diné), Francis Palani Sinenci (Hawaiian), and Wayne Valliere (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe)

WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 2023, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: National Museum of the American Indian, Rasmuson Theater, Fourth Street & Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC.

TICKETS: This event is free and open to the public and no tickets are required.

National Heritage Fellowships Awards Ceremony

WHAT: An awards ceremony will honor the 2023 National Heritage Fellows and recognize the 2020-2022 recipients. Hosted by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the ceremony will open with a performance by Irish flute player and 2021 NEA National Heritage Fellow Joanie Madden with guitarist Zan McLeod.

WHO: National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, members of Congress, 2023 National Heritage Fellows, and Joanie Madden WHEN: Friday, September 29, 2023, from 5:30–6:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: Library of Congress's Coolidge Auditorium in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street SE, Washington, DC, and streamed online at

TICKETS: This event is free and open to the public and no tickets are required.

MEDIA RSVP FOR EVENTS: The full list of National Heritage Fellows attending these events is listed below; interview requests for the artists and/or photo requests should be sent to To secure admission and camera locations, crews must RSVP for Native Art Making in Place by Thursday, September 28 at 12 p.m. and for the ceremony by Friday, September 29 at 12 p.m.

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The following National Heritage Fellows will be in attendance at these events:

2023 National Heritage Fellows:

  • R.L. Boyce, Hill Country Blues Musician
  • Ed Carriere (Suquamish), Suquamish Basketmaker
  • Michael A. Cummings, African American Quilter
  • Joe DeLeon “Little Joe” Hernández, Tejano Music Performer
  • Roen Kahalewai Hufford (Hawaiian), Kapa maker
  • Elizabeth James-Perry (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Aquinnah), Wampanoag wampum and fiber artist
  • Nick Spitzer, Folklife presenter, educator, and radio producer
  • Luis Tapia, Sculptor, Hispano woodcarving tradition
  • Wu Man, pipa player

2022 National Heritage Fellows:

  • Eva Enciñias, flamenco artist
  • Excelsior Band, brass band musicians
  • Stanley Jacobs, quelbe flutist and bandleader
  • The Legendary Ingramettes, gospel artists
  • TahNibaa Naataanii (Navajo/Diné), Navajo (Diné) textile artist and weaver
  • Francis Palani Sinenci (Hawaiian), Master Hawaiian hale builder
  • Tsering Wangmo Satho, Tibetan opera singer and dancer
  • C. Brian Williams, step artist and producer
  • Shaka Zulu, New Orleans Black masking craftsman, stilt dancer, and musician

2021 National Heritage Fellows:

  • Tagumpay Mendoza De Leon, Rondalla musician
  • Anita Fields (Osage/Muscogee), Osage ribbon worker and artist
  • Joanie Madden, Irish flute player (Friday only)
  • Reginald McLaughlin, tap dancer
  • Winnsboro Easter Rock Ensemble, Easter Rock spiritual ensemble

2020 National Heritage Fellows:

  • Naomi Diouf, West African diasporic dancer
  • Karen Ann Hoffman (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Haudenosaunee Raised Beadworker
  • Los Matachines de la Santa Cruz de la Ladrillera, traditional religious dancers
  • Hugo N. Morales, radio producer and radio network builder
  • John Morris, old-time fiddler and banjo player
  • Wayne Valliere (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe), Birchbark Canoe Builder

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. To learn more, visit


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