Arnold Richardson, 2014 Heritage Award Recipient

Arnold Richardson, 2014 Heritage Award Recipient

Photo by: NC Museum of History

Photo by: NC Museum of History

Arnold Richardson will perform at the 18th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration scheduled Saturday, November 23 at the Museum of History. In addition to performing, Richardson will present his model of a traditional longhouse, and conduct a workshop on American Indian musical instruments.

Richardson, a Haliwa-Saponi artist who has influenced the revitalization of North Carolina Indian arts has received the prestigious North Carolina Heritage Award and will be honored in an awards ceremony scheduled Tuesday, May 20, 2014 in Raleigh.

Richardson joins four other North Carolinians to receive the award including Bobby Hicks, a bluegrass fiddler (Marshall, Madison County); Susan Morgan Leveille, weaver (Dillsboro, Jackson County); Sid Luck, potter (Seagrove, Moore County); and Bill Myers, jazz musician (Wilson, Wilson County).

Since 1989, the North Carolina Heritage Award, a program of the North Carolina Arts Council, has honored the folk artists of the state, deepening awareness of the stories, music, and artistry that comprise our rich and diverse cultural and folklife traditions.

Richardson’s efforts to revitalize the cultural heritage of eastern North Carolina’s American Indians have long been credited for the resurgence of artistic vitality among the eastern tribes. Mr. Richardson is a musician and an artist working in many different indigenous artistic traditions. Throughout a career spanning more than four decades, Arnold Richardson has taught tribal arts traditions to the Haliwa-Saponi as well as educating other state recognized tribes about revitalizing their own heritage.

A list of Mr. Richardson’s accomplishments is staggering both for its depth and breadth. Every few years finds him researching and mastering a new tradition that he then teaches to a growing number of interested students at his home and in various communities in N.C. Most recently, in addition to his prize-winning stone sculpture, pottery and beadwork, he has been recognized for the excellence of his gourd carving, an art form that he continues to perfect even while engaging in activities as varied as touring with the North Carolina Symphony and welcoming students of all ages, abilities, and ethnicities into his home in the Haliwa-Saponi community of Hollister.

In the 1970s he worked with a Washington, D.C. organization known then as the Coalition of Eastern Native Americans where his work took him to various N.C. Indian communities and other eastern states to advocate for the re-birth and renaissance of American Indian culture, and ancient art forms.

Mr. Richardson plays many types of handmade flutes, the Iroquois willow flute, southeastern Indian river cane flute, and traditional red cedar flute, to name a few. Under the name Tsa’ne Dos’e he has recorded six critically acclaimed CDs of flute music and has performed at countless festivals, powwows and events across the country, including the Smithsonian Institution Folklife Festival and Mashantucket Pequot Nation’s Schimtzen. His music has been used in movie and television productions ranging from the Travel with Rick Steves PBS series to the movie, Dances With Wolves. He serves as a multi-cultural advisor for McGraw-Hill Publishing’s Spotlight on Music program.

“Arnold Richardsonhas studied, mastered and taught many of the artistic and performance traditions that mark contemporary eastern North Carolina Indian cultural expression,” said N.C. Folklife Director Sally Peterson. “Many eastern Indian artists today cite Mr. Richardson’s influence, instruction and inspiration as fundamental to their own artistic development.”

Read more about Arnold Richardson.

Tickets Now Available for Awards Program
The program honoring recipients of the North Carolina Heritage Award is open to the public and is scheduled Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at the A.J. Fletcher Opera House in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. Tickets are $22 available from PineCone, Piedmont Council of Traditional Music.