News

NEA National Heritage Fellows to Perform in Free Concert at George Washington University Lisner Auditorium on October 4, 2012

Live webcast of concert available at arts.gov. Recipients also to be honored at Awards Ceremony on October 3, 2012

Washington, D.C. – At its heart, the folk and traditional arts are rooted in the cultural practices of a particular community, whether it's Texas's Tejano music, the boatbuilding traditions of coastal Massachusetts, or the gospel music of Tidewater Virginia. On Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. EDT, communities around the country and world will be able to experience these art forms and more as a group of our nation's top folk and traditional artists take the stage for the annual NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert, which will be webcast live at arts.gov and open to the public. Nick Spitzer, host of public radio’s American Routes, will emcee this evening of conversations, demonstrations, and performances, featuring the 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellows, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.

The 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellowship recipients are:

  • Mike Auldridge, Dobro Player (Silver Spring, MD)
  • Paul & Darlene Bergren, Dog Sled and Snowshoe Designers and Builders (Minot, ND)
  • Harold A. Burnham, Master Shipwright (Essex, MA)
  • Albert B. Head, Traditional Arts Advocate (Montgomery, AL)*
  • Leonardo "Flaco" Jiménez, Tejano Accordion Player (San Antonio, TX)
  • Lynne Yoshiko Nakasone, Okinawan Dancer (Honolulu, HI)
  • Molly Neptune Parker, Passamaquoddy Basketmaker (Princeton, ME)
  • The Paschall Brothers, Tidewater Gospel Quartet (Chesapeake, VA)
  • Andy Statman, Klezmer Clarinetist, Mandolinist, Composer (Brooklyn, NY)

Albert B. Head is the recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowship award. The Bess Lomax Hawes Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.

Profiles of the artists are available in the Lifetime Honors section of the NEA's website, along with photos, audio, and video samples of their work.

NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert

The NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert will be held at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium at 730 21st Street NW in Washington, DC. This concert will be webcast live at arts.gov with an archive available following the event.

Free tickets to this concert are available online at lisner.org or in person at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium Box Office at 730 21st Street NW in Washington, DC, and the House of Musical Traditions, 7010 Westmoreland Ave., Tacoma Park, MD.

PLEASE NOTE: All unclaimed tickets will be released 15 minutes before the concert.

NEA National Heritage Fellowships Awards Ceremony

In addition to the concert, the NEA will also hold the National Heritage Fellowship Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. in Room 119 of the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson Building at 1st Street SE, between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street in Washington, DC. NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and members of Congress will present the awards to the recipients. This event is open to the public.

Members of the press who wish to attend the concert or awards ceremony or obtain photographs should contact Liz Auclair at auclaire@arts.gov.

About the NEA National Heritage Fellowships

The 2012 honorees join the ranks of previous Heritage Fellows, including pueblo potter Helen Cordero, Cajun fiddler and composer Michael Doucet, sweetgrass basketmaker Mary Jackson, bluesman B.B. King, cowboy poet Wally McRae, bluegrass musician Bill Monroe, and gospel and soul singer Mavis Staples. From 1982 to 2012, the Arts Endowment has awarded 377 NEA National Heritage Fellowships. Fellowship recipients are nominated by the public, often by members of their own communities, and then judged by a panel of experts in folk and traditional arts on the basis of their continuing artistic accomplishments and contributions as practitioners and teachers.

The NEA is currently accepting nominations for the 2013 class of NEA National Heritage Fellowships. The deadline is October 1, 2012. Visit the NEA's website to submit a nomination.

Visit arts.gov for more information on the NEA's National Heritage Fellowships, including bios, interviews, and audio selections for the NEA National Heritage Fellows; portraits of more than 155 NEA National Heritage Fellows by Tom Pich; and publications such as a 30th anniversary publication featuring a DVD-Rom, created by Documentary Arts, with photos, videos, and audio recordings of all the Heritage Fellows, and a Masters of Traditional Arts Education Guide

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.