Cajun fiddler, bandleader and composer, Michael Doucet and the “First Lady of Rockabilly,” Wanda Jackson are among the 12 recipients of this year’s National Endowment for the Arts – National Heritage Fellowships, the country’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts.
Twelve fellowships, which include a one-time award of $20,000 each, are presented to honorees from eleven states. The awardees were chosen for their artistic excellence, cultural authenticity, and contributions to their field.
For the first time in its 24-year history, the NEA National Heritage Fellowship goes to Michael Doucet who was first recognized through an NEA-funded apprenticeship grant in 1975 to study with master Cajun and Zydeco musicians, including Dewey Balfa and Canray Fontenot who were later recognized as National Heritage Fellows.
An award ceremony and concert will take place in Washington D.C. on September 23rd.
Congratulations to all the winners!