National Endowment For The Arts Announces 2005 Recipients of Nation's Highest Honor in the Folk and Traditional Arts
Twelve Artists to Receive 2005 NEA National Heritage Fellowships
June 15, 2005
Washington, D.C. - The National Endowment for the Arts today announced the 2005 recipients of the NEA National Heritage Fellowships, the country's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Twelve fellowships, which include a one-time award of $20,000 each, are presented to honorees from eleven states. These awardees were chosen for their artistic excellence, cultural authenticity, and contributions to their field. The traditions they represent range from Navajo weaving, to Hawaiian chanting, and Mexican American paper-cutting to Cajun fiddling.
Janette Carter, whose parents and Aunt Maybelle made up the Carter family, widely regarded as the First Family of Country Music, will receive the Bess Lomax Hawes award for service to the folk and traditional arts field. The award honors her lifelong advocacy for the performance and preservation of Appalachian music.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia said, "The NEA's National Heritage Fellowships honor the individuals who preserve America's folk and traditional arts. These masterful artists and the cultural legacies they embody are so often overlooked by mainstream media, that it is a special thrill to give them proper recognition."
For the first time in its 24-year history, an NEA National Heritage Fellowship goes to an artist, Michael Doucet, who was first recognized through an NEA-funded apprenticeship grant in 1975 to study with master Cajun and Zydeco musicians, including Dewey Balfa and Canray Fontenot who were later recognized as National Heritage Fellows.
2005 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Recipients
Eldrid Skjold Arntzen, Norwegian American rosemaler (Watertown, CT)
2005 Bess Lomax Hawes Award
These honorees join the ranks of previous Heritage Fellows, including bluesman B.B. King, Irish stepdancer Michael Flatley, cowboy poet Wally McRae and acclaimed performers Shirley Caesar, Doc Watson, and Bill Monroe. Since 1982, the Endowment has awarded more than 304 National Heritage Fellowships. Recipients are nominated, often by members of their own communities, and then judged by a panel on the basis of their continuing artistic accomplishments and contributions as practitioners or teachers. Fellows must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or U.S territory.
The 2005 awardees will come to Washington D.C. in September for a series of events including an awards presentation on Capitol Hill and a concert at Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University on Friday, September 23.
The ceremony and related activities are generously supported by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store of Lebanon, Tennessee.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency