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. Among this year’s recipients are three Native American artists: Dakota flute maker and player Bryan Akipa from Sisseton, South Dakota; Tlingit ceremonial regalia maker Clarissa Rizal from Juneau, Alaska; and Penobscot nation ash/sweetgrass basketmaker Theresa Secord from Waterville, Maine.
On Friday, September 30, 2016, at 8:00pm, 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, including Bryan Akipa, Clarissa Rizal, and Theresa Secord, 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.
Below is the full list of 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellows:
- Bryan Akipa (Sisseton, SD) – Dakota Flute Maker and Player
- Joseph Pierre “Big Chief Monk” Boudreaux (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.