The 2018 North Carolina Arts Council Heritage Award recipients are:
- Asha Bala (Cumberland County) — Performer and instructor of South Indian dance
- Glenn and Lula Bolick (Caldwell County) — Potters, musicians, and storytellers
- Arvil Freeman (Buncombe County) — Western North Carolina fiddler
- Robert “Dick” Knight (Lenoir County) — Soul, R&B, and jazz trumpet player
- Tony Williamson (Chatham County) — Multi-genre mandolinist rooted in bluegrass
This year’s program will highlight younger generations of artists continuing these traditions, and this is the only time you’ll see all of these artists together on the same stage: Tony Williamson will be joined by several special guests, including banjo phenom Noam Pikelny, 16-year-old tap dancer Jabu Graybeal, Robbie Link (bass), Tony’s brother Gary Williamson (guitar), Tony’s son Andrew Hardy Williamson, sisters Caroline and Katherine Ririe (both on fiddle), and collaborator Don Wright (banjo).
Dick Knight will perform with The Monitors, a jazz band from Eastern North Carolina that has been featured in NC’s African American Heritage Trail. Band mate Bill Myers was a founding member of the group who received a North Carolina Heritage Award in 2014.
Glenn & Lula Bolick will be joined by their daughter Janet Calhoun. Arvil Freeman will play some tunes with Emma McDowell Best (fiddle), Laura Boosinger (banjo), Bryan McDowell (fiddle), and Carol Rifkin (fiddle).
And Asha Bala will perform with live music accompaniment featuring Sriranga Rao (percussion), Indian Carnatic classical vocalist Smitha Prasad, Partha Aji (flute), and Gowri Srinivas (veena).
Student dancers from Bala’s Leela School of Dance will perform the story of Draupadi from the epic Mahabharata, choreographed through the lens of the #metoo movement.
The evening will also feature video profiles by award-winning filmmaker Rodrigo Dorfman and on-stage interviews with the award recipients. Stick around for a post-show reception and a chance to meet this year’s master artists.
This year’s ceremony is also the culminating event for the 50th anniversary celebration of the North Carolina Arts Council. The Arts Council created the Heritage Awards to recognize outstanding traditional artists. More than 100 artists from NC’s music, craft, dance, and narrative traditions, among others, have received this prestigious recognition.
Be part of a celebration of North Carolina arts and creative expression at the 2018 North Carolina Heritage Award Ceremony and Performance! Memorable performances by past honorees such as Doc Watson, Sheila Kay Adams, Maceo Parker, Etta Baker, John Dee Holeman, Joe Thompson, Bobby Hicks, Earl Scruggs and others have offered glimpses into the lives and stories of communities throughout North Carolina. Reserve your seats for this one-of-a-kind program that celebrates North Carolina’s cultural heritage.