Eight North Carolina artists will receive the North Carolina Heritage Award for their outstanding contributions to our state’s cultural heritage in an awards ceremony and concert scheduled Wednesday, May 25 in Raleigh.
The 2016 North Carolina Heritage Award recipients are Maceo Parker, internationally-recognized funk, jazz and rhythm and blues musician (Kinston, Lenoir County); Sheila Kay Adams, a seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and musician (Sodom Laurel, Madison County); Montagnard Dega weavers H Ju Nie and H Ngach Rahlan, who brought their mastery of spinning, dying and weaving from the highlands of Vietnam (Greensboro, Guilford County); Houston, James and Jamie Lewis, fourth generation boat builders from the Harkers Island tradition (Harkers Island, Carteret County); and Marc Pruett, renowned banjo player, songwriter and part of the popular bluegrass band, Balsam Range (Canton, Haywood County).
Since 1989, the N.C. Heritage Award, a program of the North Carolina Arts Council, has honored traditional artists in the state, deepening awareness of the stories, music, and artistry that comprise our rich and diverse cultural traditions. Recipients are selected by a panel of experts based of their artistic excellence, cultural authenticity and contributions to their field.
More than 120 traditional artists have been honored in the last 26 years.
“The North Carolina Arts Council is proud that our agency is documenting and helping sustain these artists, each of whom have creatively reinvigorated the traditions that they first learned in their youth,” said Wayne Martin, Executive Director of the N.C. Arts Council. “Those who are chosen to receive this lifetime achievement award keep our citizens connected to the extraordinary arts that have flourished over generations in every community, large and small, across the state.”
Pinecone, the Piedmont Council on Traditional Music, will partner with the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Natural Resources to produce the May 25 ceremony and concert.
Fletcher Opera Theater is wheelchair accessible and the N.C. Arts Council can provide accessibility services upon request. Please contact Sally Peterson, Folklife Director at (9190) 807-6507.