Fiddler Arvil Freeman and artists Glenn and Lula Bolick will be honored with the prestigious North Carolina Heritage Award in 2018. On Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper announced the 2018 recipients for the award, which recognizes artists for their contributions to the state’s cultural vitality.
Arvil Freeman of Buncombe County has performed on the fiddle and passed on his traditions for over fifty years and is known for his smooth and melodic long-bow style. Born into a musical family in the Paw Paw community of Madison County, Arvil grew up playing local parties and dances with his brother, Gordon, and their friend Ralph Lewis, a former member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. Arvil plays somewhere “in between” old-time and bluegrass, and he respects the traditions' shared repertoire.
Lula and Glenn Bolick of Caldwell County have brought multiple mountain and piedmont traditions into the 21st century. As potters, they continue the practice of Lula’s family, the Owens of Seagrove. Glenn sustains his family’s traditions as a saw-miller, musician, and storyteller, all showcased at the family’s annual Heritage Day celebration. A talented musician he plays a variety of instruments, and enjoys sharing the tunes he learned growing up in the mountains.
“The Arts Council is proud that our agency’s mission includes the documentation of cultural traditions that have been shaped and passed down over generations in North Carolina,” said Wayne Martin, Executive Director of the N.C. Arts Council. “These recipients actively inspire and mentor future generations of traditional artists.”
The May 23, 2018 Heritage Award ceremony will feature performances from each recipient. This event will be the culmination of activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Arts Council.
To learn more about Arvil Freeman and the Bolicks, visit the Heritage Awards page of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources website.