NEA National Heritage Fellowships Celebrations Upcoming
Awards ceremony and concert honor recipients of nation's highest honor in folk and traditional arts
NEA National Heritage Fellows highlighted in Kennedy Center's Prelude 2008: Arts Across America
September 4, 2008
Washington, D.C. – Eleven master artists from around the country will arrive in Washington, D.C. the week of September 15th for a series of celebratory events to honor their receipt of a 2008 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 art 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. The NEA National Heritage Fellowships program is made possible through the support of the Darden Restaurants Foundation and family of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52 restaurants.
Capitol Hill Awards Ceremony
NEA Chairman Dana Gioia and Members of Congress will present the 2008 NEA National Heritage Fellowships in a Capitol Hill ceremony on Wednesday, September 17 at 4 p.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 awards ceremony will be distributed via e-mail the following morning.
On Friday, September 19, at 7:30 p.m., the Fellows will perform at a free special concert, held 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.
Free tickets are available from two locations: the Music Center at Strathmore Ticket Office, 301-581-5100 or www.strathmore.org, and the House of Musical Traditions, 7040 Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, Maryland, 301-270-9090.
PLEASE NOTE: Although the performance may register as officially sold out, there will be seats available beginning 15 minutes before curtain. The NEA encourages those without tickets to arrive 20-30 minutes early.
The 2008 NEA National Heritage Fellowships recipients are:
The 2008 Bess Lomax Hawes Award goes to traditional arts specialist and advocate Walter Murray Chiesa of Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
* Please note: Mac Wiseman will be unable to attend the NEA National Heritage Fellowships events due to ill health. 1997 NEA National Heritage Fellow and bluegrass musician Jesse McReynolds will perform at the concert to honor Mr. Wiseman.
NEA National Heritage Fellows at Kennedy Center
In addition to the 2008 National Heritage Fellowships events, more than ten NEA National Heritage Fellows, including 2008 fellow Dr. Michael White, will perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts between August 30th and October 5th as part of Prelude 2008: Arts Across America. This festival showcases performing artists from all 50 states, including NEA National Heritage Fellows The Blind Boys of Alabama, Chuck Brown, Pinetop Perkins, and Hazel Dickens. For more information and performance dates, please visit http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/festivals/prelude/.
The Kennedy Center also will host an exhibition of portraits of NEA National Heritage Fellows by photographer Tom Pich. The exhibition includes a sample of the more than 90 portraits taken by Pich over the course of 17 years when he traveled to communities large and small to capture these artists in their homes or studios. A sample of those portraits can be viewed at http://www.arts.gov/honors/heritage/. The exhibition will be on display in the Kennedy Center's Hall of Nations September 4 through October 5, 2008.
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.
For more information on the NEA National Heritage Fellowships, including bios, photos, and audio interviews with the fellowship recipients, please go to http://www.nea.gov/honors/heritage/.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency