What do a Mardi Gras Indian Chief, a Hawaiian ukulele player, an Old Regular Baptist singer, a quilter and a Bulgarian saxophonist have in common? They are all 2011 National Heritage Fellows. In 1982 the National Endowment for the Arts established the NEA National Heritage Awards as “a way of honoring American folk artists for their contributions to our national cultural mosaic.”
Cityfolk has brought several of these awardees to Dayton for you through the years: Irish fiddler Liz Carroll, Polish polka master Eddie Blazonczyk, Lebanese flute player Nadim Dlaiken, guitar player and maker Wayne Henderson, gospel and R&B singer Mavis Staples, Native American hoop dancer Kevin Locke and many, many more. We pledge to keep bringing these amazing talents here to perform for us, and share their wealth of cultural knowledge.
Bios — and in many cases sound samples — for all of the awardees can be found on the NEA’s website. It’s a fascinating range of amazing talent. We are fortunate to live in a country that’s as full of cultural diversity as ours is.