National Endowment for the Arts Announces 2019 NEA National Heritage Fellows NEA National Heritage Fellows to be Honored in Washington, DC September 18 & 20, 2019

The Crisfield Heritage Foundation is PROUD to share this recognition of Rich Smoker with our followers:
It is with great humility that I share this great news with friends and family. I would like to thank all of you for your continued support over the years. 
I especially want to thank Chad Buterbaugh (MD Traditional Arts & MD State Arts Council), the Ward Foundation of Wildfowl Arts and The National Endowments of the Arts for the opportunities I have been provided.

Please visit the NEA website for the official announcement and information on all the talented and dedicated artists being awarded this year.

Photos of the 2019 National Heritage Fellows with text reading 2019 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellows.

2019 NEA National Heritage Fellows: (clockwise from top left) Dan Ansotegui (photo by Gregg Mizuta), Grant Bulltail (photo by Gary Wortman, EveryMan Productions LLC), Bob Fulcher (photo by Sarah Terpstra Hanson), Linda Goss (photo by Edwin Remsberg), James F. Jackson (photo by Adam Jahiel), Las Tesoros de San Antonio—(l-r) Blanquita “Blanca Rosa” Rodríguez and Beatriz “La Paloma del Norte” Llamas (photo courtesy of Esperanza Peace & Justice Center), Rich Smoker (photo by Edwin Remsberg), Josephine Lobato (photo by Carol S. Dass), and Balla Kouyaté (photo by Brendan Mercure Photography).
June 18, 2019
Washington, DC—Today the National Endowment for the Arts announced the 2019 NEA National Heritage Fellows, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The 2019 recipients are masters of a wide range of folk and traditional art forms: Tejano singing, Basque music, and balafon playing; Spanish colcha embroidery, decoy carving, and leatherworking, as well as storytelling. Each fellowship includes an award of $25,000 and the recipients will be honored at two public events on September 18 and 20, 2019 in Washington, DC.
The 2019 NEA National Heritage Fellows are:
Dan Ansotegui, Basque musician and tradition bearer from Boise, Idaho
Grant Bulltail, Crow storyteller from Crow Agency, Montana
Linda Goss, African-American storyteller from Baltimore, Maryland
James F. Jackson, leatherworker from Sheridan, Wyoming
Balla Kouyaté, balafon player and djeli from Medford, Massachusetts
Josephine Lobato, Spanish colcha embroiderer from Westminster, Colorado
Rich Smoker, decoy carver from Marion Station, Maryland
Las Tesoros de San Antonio—Beatriz (La Paloma del Norte) Llamas and Blanquita (Blanca Rosa) Rodríguez, Tejano singers from San Antonio, Texas
Bob Fulcher, folklorist and state park manager from Clinton, Tennessee
Fulcher is the recipient of the 2019 Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowship in recognition of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to recognize these artists and the important role they play in our nation’s vibrant cultural landscape,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Whether it’s through storytelling, mentoring, or performance, these Heritage Fellows are committed to sharing their art forms with others.”
2019 NEA National Heritage Fellowships Events

The National Endowment for the Arts will collaborate with the National Council for the Traditional Arts on two events in celebration of the National Heritage Fellows, both of which are free and open to the public to attend:
The NEA National Heritage Fellowships Awards Ceremony will take place at the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street SE in Washington, DC on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.
The NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert will take place at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall at 610 F Street NW in Washington, DC on Friday, September 20, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. The concert will also be webcast live at More concert details and ticket information will be available later this summer.
About the NEA National Heritage Fellowships

The National Heritage Fellowships are:
(1 )the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts – and –
(2)recognize the recipients’ artistic excellence and support their continuing contributions to the country’s traditional arts heritage.
Including the 2019 class, the Arts Endowment has awarded 440 NEA National Heritage Fellowships, recognizing artists working in more than 200 distinct art forms, including bluesman B.B. King, Cajun fiddler and composer Michael Doucet, sweetgrass basketweaver Mary Jackson, cowboy poet Wally McRae, Kathak dancer and choreographer Chitresh Das, and gospel and soul singer Mavis Staples. More information about the NEA National Heritage Fellows is available on the NEA’s website.
Fellowship recipients are nominated by the public, often by members of their own communities, and then judged by a panel of experts in the folk and traditional arts.
The panel’s recommendations are reviewed by the National Council on the Arts, which sends its recommendations to the Arts Endowment chairman, who makes the final decision.
The deadline to submit a nomination for the 2020 class of NEA National Heritage Fellows is July 30, 2019. Visit the National Endowment for the Arts website for more information and to submit a nomination.
About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities.
Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.
Visit to learn more.

What IS There To Do in Crisfield ???

2019 Arts & Entertainment District Calendar Highlighted events – 

2nd Annual Marina Mac Fest,June 29 – 4 pm to 7 pm – Somers Cove Marina Charlie “Mac” McClenahan was a former mayor of Crisfield, state delegate, founding member of the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce and the Somers Cove Yacht Club. We are hosting a celebration featuring Front Page News, vendors and food!

J. Millard Tawes Crab & Clam Bake July 17 – Somers Cove Marina
The J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake is a Maryland must-attend, see-and-be-seen political institution, equal parts seafood and schmooze.
The annual celebration is named in honor of Crisfield native, J. Millard Tawes, the 54th Governor of the State of Maryland. 
It is described in Frommers Travel Guides as “an outdoor all-you-can-eat affair featuring crabs, clams, fish, corn on the cob, and watermelon, and in election years, lots of politicians.”​Sponsored by the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce. More information here.

Dust & Bones ConcertJuly 20 – Somers Cove Marina
4th Saturday Bay StrollJuly 27 – 4 pm to 7 pmArtists & vendors, save your space! Register for free here.4th Saturday Bay StrollAugust 24 – 4 to 7 pm – City DockArtists & vendors, save your space! Register for free here.

National Hard Crab DerbyAug 26 – Aug 31 – Labor Day Week – Somers Cove MarinaCrisfield’s National Hard Crab Derby is an annual Labor Day weekend event. The unique crab themed festival features crab races, crab cooking and picking contests, carnival rides, arts and crafts, vendors, live entertainment, beauty pageants, a parade, fireworks and more.Sponsored by the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce
For a detailed schedule see

Shakespeake’s Measure for Measure Sept. 13 – Somers Cove Marina – FREE 7:30 – 9:30 pm. Brown Box Theatre Project’s 9th Annual Free Outdoor Shakespeare Tour, Measure for Measure will be performed under the stars in idyllic outdoor venues All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Measure for Measure It is performed outdoors and seating is on the lawn. For your comfort, feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chair. For more information, including weather updates and rain locations, please visit the Brown Box website.

A Taste of Smith IslandSept. 14 – Smith Island Cultural CenterFor the cost of $55, guests receive transportation from Crisfield to Smith Island and back via the Chelsea Lane Tyler, and a menu consisting of Smith Island favorites, including the cake of course! The boat departs Crisfield at 3 pm. Proceeds benefit the Smith Island Cultural Center. To purchase tickets, call 410-425-3351. Sponsored by The Crisfield & Smith Island Cultural Alliance
4th Saturday Bay StrollSept. 28 – 4 to 7 pm – City DockArtists & vendors, save your space! Register for free here.  

Halloween Parade & PartyOct 26 – 12 pm – FREEMeet at City Hall parking lot, 319 W Main Street at noon for the paradeThen walk to Somers Cove Marina, 715 Broadway for the party & trunk or treat. 

4th Saturday Bay Stroll Eat Drink & Be ScaryOct. 26 – 4 to 7 pm – Location TBDCome in costume to compete for a first-place prize for both children and adults.  

Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit at Tawes MuseumDec 7, 2019 through Jan 18, 2020 – 3 9th St, Crisfield, MD 21817 The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition dives into water–an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically. Save the date! More information coming soon at

Amazon Shopping Helps Local Non-Profit

DID YOU KNOW ….. that when you shop on Amazon, and use their Smiles app – 
Isn’t that exciting?? Yes, Yes it is.

Just sign in and designate the Crisfield Heritage Foundation, and start shopping.
Valentine’s Day is a good time to start, but you can help each and every time you shop on Amazon.Please go to Amazon Smiles and add us in. Thank you.


There is Excitement in the Air Here at the Museum

The atmosphere is really vibrating with excitement, as our Decoy Carving course is preparing for the kickoff on Sunday afternoon !
We have 9 attendees registered, and are so excited to Welcome each and every one from as close as Crisfield, to as far away as Anchorage, Alaska !
Very exciting week coming up, as our Master Carver, Rich Smoker has planned a carving project that, in 27 years – he has NEVER taught before. This group is eager to see what it is and get started.

Check back during the week, and I will post photos every day.
See you here on the Blog !!

Decoy Carving Workshop

BY REQUEST: Pricing Reduced for LOCALS who want to create a decoy in the way of the Old Masters who lived and carved right here in Crisfield

FOR LOCAL who will not be staying overnight, or having meals during this workshop – Pricing HAS BEEN REDUCED so you also will be able to drop in to learn this locally admired craft, from one of the premier Master Carvers – World Champion Rich Smoker !
For immediate information on registering and for pricing, so you can experience learning how to create your decoy in this workshop session.-