Leona Waddell – 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellow

NBO Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Leona Waddell has been named a recipient of a 2016 NEA Heritage Fellowship. The award is our nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts.

“A revered leader in the white oak basketmaking community, Leona Trulock Waddell is a master artist whose basketmaking skills have been perfected by her years of experience and exemplify the interaction of tradition and innovation, as she both maintains the traditional form of the region’s baskets and puts her own personalized evolving imprint on each one.”

NEA Profile on Leona Waddell

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The folk and traditional arts connect us with those long-established artistic traditions that honor our identities. The NEA National Heritage Fellowships highlight these artists who have worked to ensure that these artistic traditions will continue for generations to come.”

The NEA National Heritage Fellowships include an award of $25,000 and the recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony and a concert in Washington, DC, this September.