Nominations Open for NC Heritage Awards

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Nominations are underway for the North Carolina Heritage Award, the state’s highest honor for traditional artists. The nomination deadline is Friday, May 1, 2015.

Artists who help tell North Carolina’s unique story through the traditional arts of their communities, such as craft, music and storytelling, can be nominated for the award.

The North Carolina Heritage Award, a program of the N.C. Arts Council, honors active traditional artists; recognizes artistic excellence in a traditional art; celebrates contributions to communities; and promotes North Carolina’s cultural heritage.

Heritage Award recipients include masters of traditions such as string band, gospel, balladry and blues music; master storytellers; and experts in craft traditions that include pottery, basketry, blacksmithing, weaving, boatbuilding and carving, among others.

The recipients for 2014 included bluegrass fiddler Bobby Hicks from Madison County; jazz and R&B musician William “Bill” Myers, Wilson County; potter Sid Luck, Moore County; weaver Susan Morgan Leveille, Jackson County; and Haliwa-Saponi artist and musician Arnold Richardson, Halifax County.

The North Carolina Heritage Award has honored 125 artists since 1989. Many Heritage Award recipients have also gained national and international attention. Arthel “Doc” Watson, Earl Scruggs, Etta Baker, Ray Hicks and 12 others have received National Heritage Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Criteria for selection include authenticity, current and past record of excellence and significance of the nominees within the context of their particular cultural tradition.

Recipients of the award will receive a cash award and special recognition in an awards ceremony held in Raleigh in the spring of 2016.

If you would like to nominate a traditional artist in your community, please review the nomination packet on the N.C. Arts Council's website.

Watch videos of 2014 NC Heritage Award recipients

Read profiles of previous Heritage Award recipients