“In 1982 the National Endowment for the Arts established the NEA National Heritage Awards as a way of honoring American folk artists for their contributions to our national cultural mosaic. Modelled after the Japanese “National Living Treasures” concept, the idea began with Bess Lomax Hawes, then director of the Folk Arts Program…. The NEA annually awards one-time-only National Heritage Fellowships for master folk and traditional artists. These fellowships are intended to recognize the recipients’ artistic excellence and support their continuing contributions to our nation’s traditional arts heritage.” This year, Andy Statman, klezmer clarinetist and mandolinist, has been named a fellow along with 8 other Americans in the Folk Arts for his life time of achievement in folk music, including Jewish klezmer music. A full biographical page appears on the NEA website: http://www.arts.gov/honors/heritage/fellows/fellow.php?id=2012_09&type=bio
Congratulations to Andy!