Professional photographer Tom Pich and Barry Bergey, former Director of Folk and Traditional Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will present a visual journey into the rich diversity of cultures and artistic traditions that span the nation during “The Culture of America.” Pich and Bergey will discuss their book “Folk Masters: A Portrait of America” (Indiana University Press, 2018), which features stunning portraits of NEA National Heritage Fellows – individuals and groups who have received the nation’s highest honor for excellence in folk and traditional arts. Started in 1982 by the NEA, National Heritage Fellowships recognize recipients’ artistic excellence, lifetime achievement, and contributions to the nation’s traditional arts heritage and have been awarded to more than 400 individuals and groups from every region of the country.
Barry Bergey retired as Director of Folk & Traditional Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts after a career of 30 years at the agency. His involvement in international arts policy includes consultation with UNESCO, the Organization of American States, the World Bank, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Department of State. Bergey co-authored Folk Masters: A Portrait of America (Indiana University Press, 2018) with photographer Tom Pich. A native New Yorker and professional photographer, Pich has specialized in documenting recipients of the National Heritage Fellowships. His portraiture of Heritage Fellows has been exhibited at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Smithsonian Institutions, The Russell Office Building of the U.S. Senate and is on permanent display at the Library of Congress.