NEA Announces Free Events Sept. 26 & 28 in Honor of National Heritage Fellows

From Liz Auclair, Public Affairs Specialist, National Endowment for the Arts –

This September, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will host two free events to celebrate the recipients of our nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts, the NEA National Heritage Fellows. The awards ceremony on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 is an opportunity to hear remarks by the 2018 Fellows and meet them at a post-event reception. On Friday, September 28, a free concert will showcase the Heritage Fellows on stage through performances, demonstrations, and the stories behind these traditions and artists. The concert will also be available through a live webcast at

The 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellows are:

  • Palestinian embroiderer Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim from Milwaukie, OR
  • Appalachian old-time fiddler Eddie Bond from Fries, VA
  • Anishinabe (Gun Lake Band) black ash basketmaker Kelly Church from Allegan, MI
  • African-American quilter Marion Coleman from Castro Valley, CA
  • Rodeo tailor Manuel Cuevas from Nashville, TN
  • Chicana altarista (Day of the Dead altar maker) Ofelia Esparza from Los Angeles, CA
  • R&B musician Barbara Lynn from Beaumont, TX
  • Franco-American musicians Don & Cindy Roy from Gorham, ME
  • Traditional music and dance advocate Ethel Raim from New York, NY (Raim is the recipient of the 2018 Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowship in recognition of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.)

NEA National Heritage Fellowships Awards Ceremony
WHAT: NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter and members of Congress will honor the 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellows at an awards ceremony, which will include a presentation of medals and short remarks by the recipients. The ceremony will open with a performance by Cajun fiddler, composer, bandleader, and 2005 NEA National Heritage Fellow Michael Doucet, and will be followed by a reception.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 from 5:30–6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Library of Congress’s Coolidge Auditorium in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street SE, Washington, DC.

TICKETS: This event is free and open to the public and no tickets are required.

NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert
WHAT: Hosted by Martha Gonzalez of the Grammy Award-winning band Quetzal, the concert will feature music, demonstrations, and conversations with the 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellows and other special guests.

WHEN: Friday, September 28, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

WHERE: Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW in Washington, DC and streamed live at

TICKETS: Free tickets to the concert can be reserved via Shakespeare Theatre Company’s website, either online, by phone at 202-547-1122, or in person at Sidney Harman Hall at 610 F Street NW in Washington, DC. PLEASE NOTE: Ticket-holders should arrive by 7:45 p.m. At that time, all unclaimed tickets will be released to those in the stand-by line.

WEBCAST: The concert will be live streamed at and archived after the event. Viewers can join the celebration on Twitter using the hashtag #NEAHeritage18.

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