Folklife Center receives prestigious NEA grant


National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $15,000 to the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University. Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking, and will award 977 grants in this category.

“These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said Carter. “Organizations such as the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”

“We are deeply honored that the festival has received an Art Works award from the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, the director of the Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival. “This year’s festival will be a fun-filled, educational event that will highlight some of the finest folk music, food, crafts and cultural traditions in Louisiana.”

The 40th annual Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival will be held on July 26-27 in air-conditioned Prather Coliseum on the Northwestern State campus in Natchitoches. The 2019 festival theme is “Vive la Louisiane!” The festival will include a wide variety of traditional crafts, folk foods, Kidfest, three stages of live music, narrative sessions, music informances, Louisiana tall tale teller John Wilson and a Cajun accordion workshop, which will be free for Festival attendees. Also free will be Cajun dance lessons taught by the Cajun French Music Association Dance Troupe. In addition, the annual Louisiana State Fiddle Championship will be held in the Magale Recital Hall on the afternoon of July 27.

The 2019 festival will include Cajun music by the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band and Jamie Berzas and the Cajun Tradition Band, country music by Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue, blues by Tab Benoit and Hardrick Rivers, Native American dancing by the Canneci N’de Band of Lipan Apache, zydeco by Wayne and Same Ol’ 2 Step, French Creole la la music by Goldman Thibodeaux and the Lawtell Playboys, bluegrass by the Stewart Family, including 2018 Louisiana State Fiddle Champion Clancey Stewart, gospel by Joyful Sounds, traditional roots music by the Rayo Brothers, Ed Huey and Cane Mutiny, a Jerry Lee Lewis tribute by Brandy Roberts, world folk music by 50 Man Machine, and a special performance by the Louisiane Vintage Dancers, accompanied by music by the Kitchen Session of Baton Rouge.

The festival audience will be greatly edified, enlightened and entertained at the 40th annual Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival, Rasmussen said. For more information contact, call (318) 357-4332, or check out the Louisiana Folklife Center on Facebook.

The Louisiana Folklife Center (LFC) was established at Northwestern State to identify, document, and present Louisiana’s cultural and folk traditions and to provide public access to this material via the Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival.

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit