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National Treasures: Culture Bearers in National Parks

National Treasures: Culture Bearers in National Parks

The National Council for the Traditional Arts is proud to announce the launch of National Treasures: A Tour of Culture Bearers in National Parks. A pilot program of the 2026 United States Semiquincentennial and collaboration with the National Park Service, National Treasures showcases the nation’s most distinguished cultural ambassadors at signature National Parks throughout the American landscape. The program features recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts’ prestigious National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor awarded to folk and traditional artists. By connecting Fellows and their collaborators with historically and geographically significant national landmarks, National Treasures invites compelling new conversations and fresh narratives about American heritage and identity.

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2022 Past events: 

June 10, 2022 @4pm local time

Special Performance:
Puerto Rican percussion master and 1996 National Heritage Fellow Juan Gutiérrez
Presented at San Juan National Historical Park in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Held in conjunction with Tito Fest (June 11, 2022 in Santurce, Puerto Rico)

July 6, 2022 @7pm local time

Special Performance:
Iraqi oud master and 2015 National Heritage Fellow Rahim AlHaj
Presented at Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico

July 29-31, 2022
Featured National Heritage Fellows at the 35th annual Lowell Folk Festival:
Malian balafon master Balla Kouyaté (2019)
Irish flute and whistle player Joanie Madden (2021)
Puerto Rican bomba y plena master Juan Gutiérrez (1996)
New Orleans brass ensemble Treme Brass Band (2006)
Presented at Lowell National Historical Park in Lowell, Massachusetts

Up next:

September 3, 2022
Guitarist, luthier, and 1995 National Heritage Fellow Wayne Henderson
Presented as part of part of the Roots of the American Music Summer Concert Series at Blue Ridge Parkway’s Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, Virginia

Coming soon:

October 7-9, 2022
Featured performer at the Richmond Folk Festival:                                                                        Mississippi hill country blues musician and 2021 National Heritage Fellow Cedric Burnside
Presented at Richmond Battlefield National Historical Park in Richmond, Virginia

Winter 2022/23
The Prairie Acadian Cultural Center ‘s reopening celebration
to be announced program featuring National Heritage Fellows from the region
Presented at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Eunice, Louisiana

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*Banner photo: The Virginia Indian Intertribal Dance Group & Drum kicks off the 69th National Folk Festival at Richmond National Battlefield Park in Richmond, VA. Photo courtesy of Richmond Times Dispatch, 2007.