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Wu Man Named a 2023 NEA National Heritage Fellow

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is pleased to announce this year’s NEA National Heritage Fellows, recipients of our nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. For more than 40 years, the NEA has annually presented these lifetime honors in recognition of the diverse cultural traditions that comprise our nation and the individuals whose dedication and artistry contribute to their preservation and growth. Each fellowship includes a $25,000 award. Details will be released in the future about an event to honor the 2023 fellows.

“The 2023 National Heritage Fellows exemplify what it means to live an artful life,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “Their rich and diverse art forms connect us to the past, strengthen our communities today, and give hope to future generations in ways that only the arts can. Our nation is strengthened through their meaningful practices, expressions, and preservation of traditional artistry.”

The 2023 NEA National Heritage Fellows are:

R.L. Boyce, Hill Country Blues Musician; Ed Eugene Carriere (Suquamish), Suquamish Basketmaker; Michael A. Cummings, African American Quilter; Joe DeLeon “Little Joe” Hernández, Tejano Music Performer; Roen Hufford, Kapa Maker; Elizabeth James-Perry (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Aquinnah), Wampum & Fiber Artist; Luis Tapia, Sculptor, Hispano Woodcarving Tradition; Nick Spitzer, Folklife Presenter, Educator, and Radio Producer; Wu Man, Pipa Player

Wu Man’s vivid brilliance, commanding personality, and range of expression has redefined the pipa—a centuries-old, pear-shaped, four-stringed Chinese lute—bringing it to new audiences both in the United States and the wider world of music.

About the National Heritage Fellowships
The National Heritage Fellowships are the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Including the 2023 class, the Arts Endowment has awarded 477 National Heritage Fellowships since 1982, recognizing artists working in more than 200 distinct art forms, including bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland, Japanese classical dancer Gertrude Yukie Tsutsumi, Haudenosaunee raised beadworker Karen Ann Hoffman (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), oud player and composer Rahim AlHaj, and radio producer and radio network builder Hugo N. Morales. More information about the National Heritage Fellows is available on the Arts Endowment’s website.

Fellowship recipients are nominated by the public, often by members of their own communities, and then judged by a panel of experts in the folk and traditional arts. The panel’s recommendations are reviewed by the National Council on the Arts, which sends its recommendations to the chair of the NEA, who makes the final decision.

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