2013 NEA National Heritage Fellowships - Awards Ceremony & Banquet

2013 NEA National Heritage Fellowships Awards Ceremony & Banquet at the Library of Congress on September 25, 2013. Photos by Tom Pich

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2013 NEA National Heritage Fellows.

2013 NEA National Heritage Fellows. Front row, left to right: Sheila Kay Adams, Verónica Castillo, Ramón "Chunky" Sanchez, Carol Fran. Back row, left to right: David Ivey, Ralph Burns, NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa, NEA Director of Folk and Traditional Arts Barry Bergey, Nicolae Feraru, and Séamus Connolly. (Not pictured: Pauline Hillaire)

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NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa and Audrey Chicone hold an awards plaque for Pauline Hillaire.

NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa and Audrey Chicone, representing her mother, Pauline Hillaire. At the awards ceremony, Shigekawa said, "Recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes Fellowship in recognition of her lifelong efforts at preserving the language and culture of the Lummi Nation, Pauline Hillaire is a living library of the stories, songs, and language of Northwest Coastal artistic expression. She is a tireless teacher of young and old through performance, writing, and mentorship."

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NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa and David Ivey at the awards ceremony

NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa and 2013 NEA National Heritage Fellow David Ivey. At the awards ceremony, Shigekawa said, "A song leader in a unique a cappella shape note tradition associated with The Sacred Harp hymnal, David Ivey is a teacher of aspiring singers, many of whom travel to northern Alabama from great distances to learn the distinct shape note vocal techniques and repertoire. He is a co-founder of a summer camp, the first of its kind, dedicated to Sacred Harp singing, a model that now has been replicated in Europe."

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NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa and Verónica Castillo at the awards ceremony.

NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa and 2013 NEA National Heritage Fellow Verónica Castillo. At the awards ceremony, Shigekawa said, "A third-generation shaper of clay who carries on polychrome and sculptural traditions that originated in the Puebla region of Mexico, Verónica Castillo is an artist who uses her expressive work to reflect social issues and cultural practices of everyday life and a teacher who has generously shared her artistic skill and cultural knowledge with many others."

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National Endowment for the Arts Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa and Ralph Burns at the awards ceremony.

National Endowment for the Arts Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa and 2013 NEA National Heritage Fellow Ralph Burns. At the awards ceremony, Shigekawa said, "A Pyramid Lake Paiute elder whose service in the First Cavalry during the Vietnam conflict ultimately led him back to his community in service to his tribe's cultural heritage, Ralph Burns is a revered storyteller and native language specialist. In addition, he is a teacher and mentor to Paiute youth who is able to speak eloquently of both cultural continuity and community responsibility."

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Ramón "Chunky" S&aacoute;nchez with his family at the awards ceremony

Ramón "Chunky" Sánchez with his family at the awards ceremony. At the ceremony, NEA Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "A musician and activist who lent his voice and songwriting skills to the early struggles for justice of farm laborers in California, Ramón "Chunky" Sánchez is an artist committed to both community and conscience whose music helped document and inspire the creation of Chicano Park in San Diego, as well as a teacher who mentors local youth and educates students through a rich mix of storytelling, humor, and song."

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Nicolae Feraru speaks from a podium.

Nicolae Feraru speaks to the guests at the banquet. At the ceremony earlier that evening, NEA Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "An accomplished player of the Romanian cimbalom, an instrument similar to the hammered dulcimer, that requires practiced precision and dexterity to master, Nicolae Feraru is a carrier of the complex and intricate melodies and tempos of the Gypsy repertoire, and a generous performer for his community at social events and family gatherings."

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Sheila Kay Adams performs in front of the banquet guests.

Sheila Kay Adams performs a ballad for guests at the banquet. At the ceremony earlier that evening, NEA Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "A seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and musician, Sheila Kay Adams is a carrier of unbroken oral and musical traditions of the Sodom Laurel community in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. She is an artist who has reached audiences through live performance, film, recordings, and literary publications."

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Carol Fran signs the Librarian of Congress's guest book.

Carol Fran signs the Librarian of Congress's guest book, which has been signed by visiting scholars, artists, heads of state, and Nobel Prize recipients for many years. At the ceremony earlier that evening, NEA Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "A performer whose career spans more than six decades of singing, piano playing, and songwriting, Carol Fran is an artist who combines the sounds of early rhythm and blues with the French-inflected music of the bayous of southwestern Louisiana, often referred to as the 'swamp blues.' She is an untiring touring musician who has taken her unique Creole sound to appreciative audiences around the world."

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Séamus Connolly and fellow Irish musician Jimmy Noonan perform for the guests at the banquet.

Séamus Connolly and fellow Irish musician Jimmy Noonan perform for the guests at the banquet. At the ceremony earlier that evening, NEA Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa said, "A master musician who by his mid-twenties had won ten Irish National Fiddle Championships, a feat unequalled to this day, Séamus Connolly is a repository of the unique fiddle technique and repertoire of County Clare, as well as a composer of new tunes of his own making. In addition, he is a teacher who has tirelessly trained numerous students in the beauty and value of Irish music and culture."