The National Endowment for the Arts announced the 2020 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 response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information about this event, including the date, will be available at a later time.
“Each year the Heritage Fellowships highlight the distinct living traditions of communities around our nation, as well as how our fellows instill a sense of pride, beauty, and cultural continuity through their art,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “The National Endowment for the Arts is pleased to recognize these outstanding artists with a National Heritage Fellowship.”
The 2020 National Heritage Fellows are:
- William Bell, Soul Singer and Songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia
- Onnik Dinkjian, Armenian Folk and Liturgical Singer from Fort Lee, New Jersey
- Zakarya and Naomi Diouf, West African Diasporic Dancers from Oakland/Castro Valley, California
- Karen Ann Hoffman (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Iroquois Raised Beadworker from Stevens Point, Wisconsin
- Los Matachines de la Santa Cruz de la Ladrillera, Traditional Religious Dancers from Laredo, Texas
- John Morris, Old-Time Fiddler and Banjo Player from Ivydale, West Virginia
- Suni Paz, Nueva Canción Singer and Songwriter from Henderson, Nevada
- Wayne Valliere (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe), Birchbark Canoe Builder from Waaswaaganing (Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin)
- Hugo N. Morales, Radio Producer and Radio Network Builder from Fresno, California
Morales is the 2020 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.