The National Endowment for the Arts announced the 2021 NEA National Heritage Fellows, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. These lifetime honor awards of $25,000 are given in recognition of both artistic excellence and efforts to sustain cultural traditions for future generations. The annual celebration of the new class of National Heritage Fellows will take place virtually this year, in a film that will debut on November 17, 2021 on arts.gov.
“The diverse art forms of the National Heritage Fellows allow us to experience and appreciate the rich cultural traditions that make up America,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts. “It is inspiring how these artistic practices continue the legacy of generations past, while blending contemporary elements as they continue into the future.”
The 2021 NEA National Heritage Fellows are:
- Cedric Burnside, Hill Country Blues Musician from Ashland, Mississippi
- Tagumpay De Leon, Rondalla Musician from Burbank, California
- Anita Fields (Osage), Osage Ribbon Worker from Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Los Lobos, Mexican-American Band from Los Angeles, California
- Joanie Madden, Irish Flute Player from Yonkers, New York
- Reginald “Reggio The Hoofer” McLaughlin, Tap Dancer from Chicago, Illinois
- Nellie Vera Sánchez, Mundillo Master Weaver from Moca, Puerto Rico
- Winnsboro Easter Rock Ensemble, Easter Rock Spiritual Ensemble from Winnsboro, Louisiana
- Tom Davenport, Filmmaker, Documentarian, and Media Curator from Delaplane, Virginia
Davenport is the 2021 recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship, presented in recognition of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.
For the second year, the National Endowment for the Arts will commemorate the NEA National Heritage Fellows with a film that visits with the fellows where they live and practice these traditional art forms. On November 17, 2021, the virtual presentation will be webcast free to the public at arts.gov. More information will follow.