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Related Resources

National Endowment for the Arts

National Heritage Fellowships (+ Fact Sheet)

Folk & Traditional Arts (+ Fact Sheet)

NEA State & Regional Arts Organizations


American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
Created in 1976 by Congress to “preserve and present American folklife” through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibitions, publications, and training

American Folklore Society
Professional society that serves the field of folklore studies, comprised of people and institutions that study and communicate knowledge about folklore throughout the world

American Folklore Society: U.S. Public Folklore Programs
State-by-state listing of public programs and folklore societies in the United States  

American Routes
Weekly public radio show on the traditional roots and routes of American music, featuring music and interviews with traditional musicians, including many NEA National Heritage Fellows

Documentary Arts
Nonprofit organization dedicated to broadening public knowledge and appreciation of the arts of different cultures in all media, including many projects that feature NEA National Heritage Fellows

Video-streaming site that preserves and presents folklife documentary films, including several that feature NEA National Heritage Fellows

Local Learning
National network for folk arts in education

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
Professional association of the nation’s fifty-six state and jurisdictional arts agencies

National Council for the Traditional Arts
Founded in 1933 and dedicated to the documentation and presentation of folk and traditional arts in the United States, including producing the National Folklife Festival and the NEA National Heritage Fellowship events

Web Features

Folklife Fieldnotes: Flory Jagoda
Produced by the Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities

Frank Newsome: Gone Away with a Friend
Produced by the Virginia Folklife Program at Virginia Humanities

Julia Parker: Q&A with a Yosemite Insider
Produced by Yosemite Conservancy

Masters of Traditional Arts
Produced by Documentary Arts

Masters of Traditional Arts Education Guide
Created by Paddy Bowman, Betty Carter, and Alan Govenar

NEA National Heritage Fellowships 30th Anniversary

NEA National Heritage Fellowships Videos


Almeda Riddle: Now Let's Talk about Singing
Directed and produced by George West, 1985

Appalachian Journey
Directed by Alan Lomax, produced by Mike Dibb and Penny Forster, 1991
Features Sheila Kay Adams, Janette Carter, Ray Hicks, Stanley Hicks, John Dee Holeman, Tommy Jarrell, and Nimrod Workman

Bill Monroe: Father of Bluegrass Music
Produced by Steve Gebhardt with Larry Nager, 1993

Black on White, White and Black
Directed by Alan Govenar and Bruce “Pacho” Lane, produced by Documentary Arts, Inc., 1990
Features Alex Moore

Blues Houseparty
Directed and produced by Eleanor Ellis, 1989
Features John Cephas, John Dee Holeman, John Jackson, and Phil Wiggins

Cajun Country
Directed and produced by Alan Lomax, 1991
Features Bois Sec Ardoin, Dewey Balfa, Michael Doucet, and Canray Fontenot

Cajun Visits
Directed by Yasha Aginsky, Aginsky Productions, 1983
Features Canray Fontenot and Dewy Balfa

Chulas Fronteras
Directed by Les Blank and Chris Strachwitz, 1976/2018
Features Flaco Jimenez, Narcisco Martinez, and Lydia Mendoza

Craft in America
Produced by Craft in America, Inc.
“INDUSTRY” features Lucy Mingo; “MEMORY” features Pat Courtney Gold and Mary Jackson; “HOLIDAY” features Veronica Castillo; “MESSAGES” features Charles M. Carrillo; “ORIGINS” features Vernon Owens and Philip Simmons; “COMMUNITY” features Hystercine Rankin

Dreams and Songs of the Noble Old
Directed by Alan Lomax, produced byMark Dibb, Penny Forster, Alan Lomax, and Jaime Barrios, 1991
Features Janie Hunter, Tommy Jarrell, Jack Owen, and Nimrod Workman

Dry Wood
Directed by Les Blank and Maureen Gosling, produced by Flower Films, 1973
Features Bois Sec Ardoin and Canray Fontenot

Every Island Has Its Own Songs: The Tsimouris Family of Tarpon Springs
Directed by Peggy Bulger, produced by Nancy Michael, Linda Bassett, and Richard Delaney, 1988
Features Nikitas Tsimouris

Extraordinary Ordinary People
Directed by Alan Govenar, produced by Documentary Arts, Inc., 2017

Gandy Dancers
Directed and produced by Barry Dornfeld and Maggie Holtzberg, 1994
Features Cornelius Wright, Jr.

Gimble's Swing
Directed and produced by Ken Harrison, 1981
Features Johnny Gimble

Give My Poor Heart Ease
Directed by William Ferris, produced by Yale University Media Design Studio with the Center for Southern Folklore, 1975
Features Riley “B.B.” King

Good Work: Masters of the Building Arts
Directed by Marjorie Hunt and Paul Wagner, produced by American Focus, Inc. and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, 2017
Features Earl Barthé and Nicholas Benson

Gravel Springs Fife and Drum
Directed and produced by William Ferris, David Evens, and Judy Peiser, 1971
Features Othar Turner

Hazel Dickens: It’s Hard to Tell the Singers from the Song
Directed by Mimi Pickering, 2001

Homemade American Music
Directed by Yasha Aginsky and Carrie Aginsky, 1980
Features Dewey Balfa, Elizabeth Cotten, Tommy Jarrell, Lily May Ledford, and Mike Seeger

Hot Pepper
Directed by Les Blank with Maureen Gosling, 1973
Features Clifton Chenier

It’s One Family - Knock on Wood
Produced and directed by Tony De Nonno, De Nonno Productions, 1982
Features Mike “Papa” Manteo

Just Around the Bend: Survival and Revival in Southern Banjo Sounds
Directed by Mike Seeger, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2019

Les Blues de Balfa
Directed by Yasha Aginsky, Aginsky Productions, 1983
Features Dewey Balfa and the Balfa Brothers

Lily May Ledford
Directed by Anne Lewis, Appalshop, 1988

Louie Bluie
Directed by Terry Zwigoff, produced by Frank Simeone and Terry Zwigoff, 1985
Features Howard Armstrong

Made in Mississippi
Directed by William Ferris, produced by Yale University Media Design Studio with the Center for Southern Folklore, 1975
Features Othar Turner

Master Qi and the Monkey King
Directed by Alan Govenar, Documentary Arts, Inc., 2012
Features Qi Shu Fang

Masters of Traditional Music
Directed by Alan Govenar and Bob Tullier, produced by Documentary Arts, Inc., 1991
Features Joseph Cormier, John Dee Holeman, Kevin Locke, Alexander H. Moore, and Bua Xou Mua

Mosquitoes and High Water
Directed by Andrew Kolker and Louis Alvarez, produced by the Center for New American Media, 1983
Features Irvan Perez

New England Fiddles
Directed by John Bishop, produced by John Bishop and Nicholas Hawes, 1983
Features Joseph Cormier

Sacred Steel: The Steel Guitar Tradition of the House of God Churches
Directed by Robert L. Stone, produced by Chris Strachwitz (Arhoolie Foundation) and Alan Govenar (Documentary Arts, Inc.), 2001
Features Charles “Chuck” T. Campbell

Singing Our Way to Freedom
Directed and produced by Paul Espinosa, 2018
Features Ramón “Chunky” Sanchez

Sonny Terry: Whoopin' the Blues
Directed by Jack Agins and Rick Paup, 1969

Sprout Wings and Fly
Directed by Les Blank, Cece Conway, Alice Gerrard, and Maureen Gosling, 1983
Features Tommy Jarrell

Talking Feet
Directed by Mike Seeger, 2007
Features Stanley Hicks and John Dee Holeman

This Ain’t No Mouse Music
Directed and produced by Maureen Gosling and Chris Simon, 2013
Features Chris Strachwitz, Michael Doucet, and Flaco Jiménez

The Grand Generation
Directed by Paul Wagner, Steve Zeitlin, and Marjorie Hunt, 1993
Features Cleofes Vigil and Nimrod Workman

The Land Where the Blues Began
Directed by John M. Bishop, Alan Lomax, and Worth Long, produced by the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television and Alan Lomax, 1979
Features Jack Owens and Othar Turner

The Meaders Family: North Georgia Potters
Directed by Ralph Rinzler, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2003
Features Lanier Meaders

The Popovich Brothers of South Chicago
Directed by Jill Godmilow, Ethel Raim, and Martin Koenig, 1978

The Shakers
Directed by Tom Davenport and Frank DeCola, produced by Tom Davenport with Frank DeCola and Daniel Patterson, 1974
Features Sister Mildred Barker

Unbroken Tradition
Directed by Herb Smith, Erin Kellan, and Joey Brackner, produced by Alabama State Council on the Arts and Appalshop, Inc., 1986
Features Jerry Brown

You Don’t Need Feet to Dance
Directed by Alan Govenar, Documentary Arts, Inc., 2013
Features Sidiki Conde

Books and Articles

“American Folk: National Heritage Fellows” in FACES Magazine. Cricket Media, July/August 2017.

Awalt, Barbe, and Paul Rhetts. Charlie Carrillo: Tradition & Soul. LPD Press & Rio Grande Books, 1995.

Briggs, Charles. The Wood Carvers of Cordova, New Mexico: Social Dimensions of an Artistic “Revival.” Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1980.

Burrison, John. Brothers in Clay: The Story of Georgia Folk Pottery. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983.

Compton, Stephen C.  Jugtown Pottery 1917-2017: A Century of Art and Craft. Winston Salem, North Carolina: John F. Blair Publishers, 2017.

Glassie, Henry, Clifford R. Murphy, and Douglas Peach. Ola Belle Reed and Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line. Dust-to-Digital, 2015.

Hewitt, Mark, and Nancy Sweezy. The Potter’s Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.

Hufford, Mary, Marjorie Hunt, and Steven J. Zeitlin. The Grand Generation: Memory, Mastery, Legacy. Washington, D.C., and Seattle: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and University of Washington Press, 1987.

Hunt, Marjorie, and Boris Weintraub. “Masters of Traditional Arts.” National Geographic, January 1991.

Jones, Bessie, and Bess Lomax Hawes. Step It Down: Games, Plays, Songs, and Stories from the Afro-American Heritage. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987.

Orhlin, Glenn (edited by Charlie Seeman). The Hell-Bound Train: A Cowboy Songbook. Texas Tech University Press, 2016 (second edition).

Mundell, Kathleen. North by Northeast: Wabanaki, Akwesasne Mohawk, and Tuscarora Traditional Arts. 2008.

Pich, Tom, and Barry Bergey. Folk Masters: A Portrait of America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017.

Rinzler, Ralph, and Robert Sayers. The Meaders Family: North Georgia Potters. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Folklife Studies, 1980.

Sheehy, Daniel, “The National Heritage Fellowships: Frames, Fames & Aims,” Festival of American Folklife Program Book. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1994.

Siporin, Steve. American Folk Masters: The National Heritage Fellows. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1992.

Sweezy, Nancy. Raised in Clay: The Southern Pottery Tradition. Washington, D.C.:  Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984.

Vlach, John. A Charleston Blacksmith: The Work of Philip Simmons. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1981.

Zug, Charles. Turners and Burners: The Folk Potters of North Carolina. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986.

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