National Endowment For The Arts Announces the 2004 Recipients of the Nation's Highest Honor in the Folk and Traditional Arts
Twelve Artists to Receive 2004 NEA National Heritage Fellowships
June 2, 2004
Washington, D.C. - The National Endowment for the Arts today announced the 2004 recipients of the NEA National Heritage Fellowships, the country's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Ten fellowships, which include a one-time award of $20,000 each, are presented to honorees from ten states. Twelve awardees were chosen for their artistic excellence, cultural authenticity, and contributions to their field. Two of the fellowships will be shared by husband and wife teams.
Chum Ngek will receive the Bess Lomax Hawes award for service to the folk and traditional arts field as a whole in acknowledgement of his long history of teaching Cambodian music and culture.
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia said, "The work of these awardees is a testament to the diversity and exceptional quality of America's artistic resources. The cultures and artistic forms represented here speak to traditions, both ancient and contemporary and to artistic achievements that are timeless."
In its 23rd year, the NEA National Heritage Fellowship program features many first-time awards this year including honoring a female blues singer, Kathak dancer, Irish-American button accordionist, and gospel steel guitarist.
2004 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Recipients
Anjani Ambegaokar, North Indian Kathak dancer (Diamond Bar, CA)
2004 Bess Lomax Hawes Award
These honorees join the ranks of previous Heritage Fellows, including bluesman B.B. King, Irish stepdancer Michael Flatley, cowboy poet Wally McRae and acclaimed performers Shirley Caesar, Doc Watson, and Bill Monroe. Since 1982, the Endowment has awarded more than 282 National Heritage Fellowships. Recipients are nominated, often by members of their own communities, and then judged by a panel on the basis of their continuing artistic accomplishments and contributions as practitioners or teachers. Fellows must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or U.S territory.
The 2004 awardees will come to Washington D.C. in September for a series of events including an awards presentation on Capitol Hill and a concert at Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University on Friday, October 1.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store of Lebanon, Tennessee will underwrite the costs of the ceremony and related activities.
For more information, contact the NEA Office of Communications at 202-682-5570.
High resolution photographs of the awardees are available on the web site.
Please see a listing of all Heritage recipients.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency