Submit a National Heritage Fellowship Nomination

Posted by National Endowment for the Arts ; Posted on 
Call for Artists; Professional Development - DEADLINE :  
Submit a National Heritage Fellowship Nomination


To honor and preserve our nation’s diverse cultural heritage, the NEA annually awards up to nine National Heritage Fellowships to master folk and traditional artists, including one Bess Lomax Hawes Fellowship (described below). These fellowships recognize artistic excellence, lifetime achievement, and contributions to our nation’s traditional arts heritage. Through folk & traditional arts practice, National Heritage Fellows reveal that artful lives are enhanced by active community involvement and contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities.

National Heritage Fellowship nominees must be worthy of national recognition and have a record of continuing artistic accomplishment. They must be actively participating in their art form, either as practitioners, mentors, or as community scholars. Successful nominations demonstrate significant contributions to living folk and traditional arts, source communities, and/or the transmission of traditional knowledge to future generations.

The designation of a Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship will be awarded to an individual who has made major contributions to the excellence, vitality, and public appreciation of the folk and traditional arts. The nominee should be worthy of national recognition and must be actively engaged in perpetuating the folk and traditional arts. Named after the influential advocate, educator, and producer of the folk and traditional arts, Bess Lomax Hawes, this award recognizes:

  • An artist whose contributions, primarily through teaching, advocacy, organizing, and maintaining important repertoires, have greatly benefited their artistic tradition.


  • An individual such as a producer or advocate whose efforts have significantly increased opportunities for and public visibility of traditional arts and artists.

Individuals may be nominated specifically for the Bess Lomax Hawes Fellowship.

One or more nominations may be submitted in a year (using a separate online form for each submission). Nominations may also be submitted by an individual or group. All nominators must provide the name and contact information of the individual who will be responsible for all communication with NEA staff regarding the nomination, including receiving correspondence, making updates or changes, and receiving feedback.

Awards for the National Heritage Fellowships (including the Bess Lomax Hawes Fellowship) will be up to $25,000, and may be received once in a lifetime.

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