NEA National Heritage Fellowship Celebrations Upcoming
Ceremony and concert honor recipients of nation's highest honor in folk and traditional arts
September 10, 2007
Washington, D.C. – Twelve master artists from around the country arrive in Washington, DC the week of September 17th for a series of celebratory events to honor their receipt of a 2007 National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The fellowship is the nation's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Representing a cross-section of cultures and arts forms, these awardees were chosen for their artistic excellence, cultural authenticity, and contributions to their field. The fellowship includes a one-time award of $20,000.
NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said, "This annual series of events honoring the new class of NEA National Heritage Fellows always provides special moments of individual and communal celebration. Especially in the 25th anniversary year, we are delighted to welcome the Fellows and their families to Washington to recognize the artists' achievements and their contributions to the beauty of America's cultural landscape."
The NEA National Heritage Fellowships program is made possible through the support of the Darden Restaurants Foundation and family of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones, Seasons 52, and the newly acquired Capital Grille and LongHorn restaurants. Darden Restaurant’s Chairman and CEO Clarence J. Otis notes, “Darden is committed to enhancing and supporting each community it serves. The Fellowship program grants us the rare opportunity to honor a group of exceptional artists from a breadth of backgrounds—a group that truly represents the richness of our nation’s diverse culture.”
Capitol Hill Award Ceremony
Chairman Gioia and Members of Congress will present the 2007 NEA National Heritage Fellowships in a Capitol Hill ceremony on Tuesday, September 18 at 10:00 a.m. in the Cannon Caucus Room (Room 345) in the Cannon House Office Building, located at 1st Street and Independence Ave., SE. Photographs of the Capitol Hill ceremony will be distributed via email that afternoon.
On Thursday, September 20, at 7:30 p.m, the Fellows will perform at the Music Center at Strathmore, located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane in Bethesda, Maryland. Opened in February 2005, the Music Center is a 1,976-seat concert hall and education center in a state-of-the-art, fully accessible facility. Nick Spitzer, host of PRI's "American Routes," will emcee this exciting evening of mini performances, visual art displays, and artist interviews. Tickets are available at the Music Center at Strathmore Ticket Office, 301-581-5100 or www.strathmore.org.
PLEASE NOTE: Although the performance may register as officially sold out, there will be seats available beginning 15 minutes before curtain. The NEA suggests that those without tickets arrive 20-30 minutes early.
The NEA National Heritage Fellowships program is made possible through the support of the Darden Restaurants Foundation and the Darden family of restaurants including Red Lobster and Olive Garden.
The 2007 Bess Lomax Hawes Award goes to photo documentarian, author, and exhibit curator Roland Freeman of Washington, D.C.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the NEA National Heritage Fellows program. Special anniversary activities include the release of the 77-page book National Heritage Fellowships, 1982-2007, and companion DVD, a touring exhibition of Fellows' portraits and stories, and performances by individual Fellows and themed groups of Fellows at festivals throughout the country.
The NEA National Heritage events are produced in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts. The concert is presented in partnership with Strathmore and WAMU-88.5 FM provides media sponsorship. The Bethesda Doubletree Hotel has provided accommodation support for the Fellows and their families.
For more information on the NEA National Heritage Fellowships, including bios, photos, and audio interviews with the fellowship recipients, please go to www.arts.gov/honors/heritage/
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency