Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has been honoring artists and artisans who have distinguished themselves in perpetuating the finest in the rich tapestry that makes up American traditional culture with The National Heritage Fellowships. Be it Lynne Yoshiko Nakasone, bringing the graceful movement of Okinawan dance from Hawaii, or Andy Statman mesmerizing the ears with the sounds of klezmer clarinet and bluegrass mandolin from Brooklyn, or perhaps the dog sled and snowshoe designs of Paul and Darlene Bergren from Minot, North Dakota, or maybe the joyous sounds of Texas conjunto accordion from Grammy winning Flaco Jimenez might be more up your alley, all this and more was presented by host Nick Spitzer at Lisner Auditorium in Washington, D.C. last night. It has been my good fortune to be a part of this event for almost 20 years, working with the wonderful folks at the National Endowment and The National Council for the Traditional Arts in helping to create an archive of images from both the awards ceremony and the concert that presents the Fellows to the world at large. To learn more about the NEA & the Heritage Fellows, click on the links, and remember- ANYONE may nominate a deserving artist for this award, so be on the lookout in YOUR community for someone who helps to embody the best in the melting pot that is American traditional culture.
Lynne Yoshiko Nakasone – the hands and accordion of Flaco Jimenez
Master Shipwright Harold A. Burnham – Andy Statman – Dogsled Builders Paul and Darlene Bergren with son Terry Bergren
The basket designs of Molly Jeannette Neptune Parker – The Rev. Tarrence Paschall – Lisa Nakandakari
The concert Finale – & Dobro Master, Mike Auldridge