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2016 NEA National Heritage Fellowships Events

Friday, September 16, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Marysol Quevedo
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This September, I invite you to join the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in celebrating nine of our nation’s master folk and traditional artists at two free events in Washington, DC. These artists are the recipients of the NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The 2016 recipients are masters of art forms ranging from Native-American basketmaking to Laotian khaen playing, but I thought members of SEM would be particularly interested in the five musicians receiving the award who are listed below.

On Friday, September 30, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. ET, the 2016 recipients will be honored at a free concert in Washington, DC, at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. This concert will also be streamed live at arts.gov. Presented by the National Endowment for the Arts, the concert will feature performances by and conversations with the 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellows and will be emceed by Dan Sheehy, cultural heritage advocate and 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellow. Free tickets are available at lisner.gwu.edu.

In addition, prior to this concert on Wednesday, September 28, the NEA will recognize these artists at an awards ceremony at the Library of Congress. NEA Chairman Jane Chu and Members of Congress will present the awards to the recipients, who will give short remarks. The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET in the Library of Congress's Coolidge Auditorium in the Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street SE in Washington, DC. Following the ceremony, there will be a reception with the artists. This event is open to the public and no tickets are required.

Here is the full list of 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellows:

·         Bryan Akipa (Sisseton, SD) – Dakota Flute Maker and Player

·         Joseph Pierre "Big Chief Monk" Bourdreaux (New Orleans, LA) — Mardi Gras Indian Craftsman and Musician

·         Billy McComiskey (Baltimore, MD) – Irish Button Accordionist

·         Artemio Posadas (San Jose, CA) — Master Huastecan Son Musician and Advocate

·         Clarissa Rizal (Juneau, AK) — Tlingit Ceremonial Regalia Maker

·         Theresa Secord (Waterville, ME) — Penobscot Nation Ash/Sweetgrass Basketmaker

·         Bounxeung Synanonh (Fresno, CA) — Laotian Khaen Player

·         Michael Vlahovich (Tacoma, WA/St. Michaels, MD) — Master Shipwright

·         Leona Waddell (Cecilia, KY) — White Oak Basketmaker

More information about both events is available here. Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone you think would be interested and we hope you can join us at one or both events this September.

Jennie Terman

Assistant Grants Management Specialist | Multidisciplinary Arts

National Endowment for the Arts

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