Last month, at Raleigh's Fletcher Opera Theater, the North Carolina Arts Council
awarded North Carolina Heritage Awards
to five traditional artists for a lifetime of contributions to the arts. Last held in 2007, the ceremony recognized recipients who have mastered their craft and contributed to the enrichment of North Carolina.
The honorees were:
• Sid Luck, a Seagrove man who creates oversized moonshine jugs with unique faces.
• Arnold Richardson, a Haliwa-Saponi Native American who has taught and preserved Native American traditions throughout the state.
• Bobby Hicks, a fiddle player known for adding a fifth string to his instrument and playing along with Bill Monroe in an early lineup of his backing group, the Bluegrass Boys.
• Susan Morgan Leveille, a masterful weaver from western North Carolina who creates cloth pieces and makes the loom look easy.
• Bill Myers, who has a long history of educating students about music and leading the eastern North Carolina band The Monitors.
Myers concluded his acceptance speech with a call to members of the N.C. General Assembly in attendance, saying, "I'm not going to stop bugging you until every child in the state of North Carolina has an opportunity to study the arts." Tthe Department of Cultural Resources is the least-funded department in the state's government. The crowd applauded knowingly.
Watch videos of the attendees accepting their respective awards and demonstrating their crafts below.
Susan Morgan Leveille