National Heritage Fellows

Visit and Learn With Our Master Guest Artists

In 1982 while she was director of the NEA Folk Arts Program, Bess Lomax Hawes (1921-2009) established the National Heritage Fellowships to honor our nation’s finest traditional artists. These annual awards have recognized over 350 artists who represent every region and a tapestry of vital traditions.

Sue Yeon Park

Sue Yeon Park

LISTEN to music and stories…

SEE different parts of the country…

LEARN about vital traditional art forms…

EXPLORE local traditions


Dress to Express National Heritage Fellows Portrait Gallery

Access portraits portraying artists who have mastered their art forms through years of study with elders and family members and have received the NEA National Heritage Fellows award to learn more about the relationship between dress and culture. This gallery includes classroom-ready exercises, worksheets for students to study their own fashion choices, and ideas for local research that connect learners with their community.

National Heritage Fellows Educational Residencies

Local Learning’s virtual residencies with National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellows take us into the communities and lives of master folk artists. Not only are they masters of song, story, and craft, they are also educators. They teach their art forms in the traditional ways that they learned them, honoring family and community members who taught them, preserving traditions while also creating innovations that keep the art forms alive and meaningful.

Classroom Applications

In addition to introducing some of our nation’s renowned traditions and traditional artists, these residencies and the artist portrait gallery can inspire finding and telling the stories of local traditions and tradition bearers. Use the Local Learning Tools to research local learning in your community and develop local Folk Artist Profiles.

Learn more about the National Heritage Fellowships at the National Endowment for the Arts.

Visit Master of Traditional Arts to see audio, video, artist bios, and a full Masters of Traditional Arts Education Guide co-authored by Local Learning Director Paddy Bowman.


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