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Free Tickets Now Available for NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert at the Music Center at Strathmore

by National Endowment for the Arts

August 23, 2011

Live webcast of concert available at

Recipients to be honored at Capitol Hill Awards Ceremony on September 21, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Where can you see Mardi Gras Indians in full regalia, taiko drummers, a saxophonist playing Bulgarian wedding music, and a Piedmont blues artist, all sharing the same stage? At the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowships Concert, taking place Friday, September 23, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland. Free tickets are now available online at or in person at the Music Center at Strathmore ticket office, 5301 Tuckerman Lane in Bethesda, Maryland, and the House of Musical Traditions, 7040 Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, Maryland.

The concert also will be webcast live at at 8 p.m. EST for those unable to attend in person. An archive of the concert will be available following the event.

Nick Spitzer, host of public radio’s American Routes, will emcee this evening of conversations, demonstrations, and performances, featuring the 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellows, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.

The 2011 NEA National Heritage Fellows are:

  • quilter Laverne Brackens (Fairfield, TX)
  • Mardi Gras Indian Chief Bo Dollis (New Orleans, LA)
  • Taiko drum leaders Roy and PJ Hirabayashi (San Jose, CA)
  • slack key guitarist Ledward Kaapana (Kaneohe, HI)
  • Old Regular Baptist singer Frank Newsome (Haysi, VA)
  • frame drum player and percussionist Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Piedmont blues songster Warner Williams (Gaithersburg, MD)
  • Bulgarian saxophonist Yuri Yunakov (Bloomfield, NJ)
  • folklorist Jim Griffith (Tucson, AZ) , recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowships award for his significant contributions to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.

For more information on the artists, please visit

PLEASE NOTE: All unclaimed tickets will be released 15 minutes before the concert. A stand-by line will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Members of the press who would like to attend the concert must contact Liz Stark at to reserve a press ticket.

In addition to the concert, the NEA will also hold the National Heritage Fellowship Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 5 p.m. at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC 212-10, located on the east side at First Street and East Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC. NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman and Members of Congress will present the awards to the recipients. This event is open to the public but RSVPs are required and space is limited. Members of the public should email by 12 p.m. EST on Monday, September 19th to be added to the list. Members of the press who wish to attend should email Liz Stark at by 12 p.m. EST on Monday, September 19th.

Press photos from the awards ceremony and concert will be available and may be requested through Liz Stark at

The NEA National Heritage Fellowships public programs are made possible with support from the Golden Corral Corporation.

Please listen to our Art Works podcasts with previous NEA National Heritage Fellows.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

Liz Stark, NEA

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