North Carolina Folk Heritage Award
The North Carolina Heritage Award is an annual award given out by the North Carolina Arts Council in recognition of traditional artists from the U.S. state of North Carolina. The award was created in 1989.
Since 1989, the North Carolina Heritage Award has honored North Carolina's most eminent folk artists. Recipients of the Heritage Awards range from internationally acclaimed musicians to folks who quietly practice their art in rural and family settings. A dozen North Carolinians have gone on to receive the National Heritage Fellowship Awards presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. These awards deepen our awareness of the rich and diverse cultural traditions of people in North Carolina. The Heritage Award has become one of the most important and influential programs developed by the Folklife Program of the North Carolina Arts Council.
Recipients receive a cash award and are honored in a ceremony that highlights their achievements. The Award ceremonies are a notable celebration and educational event for North Carolinians, drawing large and enthusiastic audiences.
From the Award’s beginning, the Folklife Program of the North Carolina Arts Council engaged talented photographers — Rob Amberg, Cedric N. Chatterley, Mary Anne McDonald, Roger Haile and Bill Bamberger — to document the artistry of award recipients. Their images and the program book articles celebrate and commemorate the skills, values, aesthetics, and meaning of traditional arts in North Carolina.
The Folk Heritage Award recipients from 1989-1996 are also featured in a special issue of the North Carolina Folklore Journal.
- The Badget Sisters, gospel singers
- Walker Calhoun, Cherokee musician and dancer
- Benton Flippen (b. 1920), fiddler
- Robert Dotson, flatfoot dancer
- John Dee Holeman, blues guitarist and buck dancer
- Doc Watson, guitarist and singer
- Jim Shumate, bluegrass fiddler
- Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith (b. 1921), country musician
- Amanda Crowe (1928-2004), Cherokee wood carver
- Marvin Gaster, old-time banjo player
- Bobby McMillion, singer, musician, and storyteller
- Bobby Hicks, fiddle player
- Bill Myers, band leader, The Monitors
- Arnold Richardson, Haliwa-Saponi artist
- Susan Morgan Leveille, weaver
- Sid Luck, potter