Falls Church resident Daniel Sheehy was announced as one of the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellows for 2015. Sheehy, a folklorist and ethnomusicologist, won the Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship for his work as a cultural heritage advocate and dedication to making the art of diverse artists more recognized and accessible.
Sheehy was actually recruited by the namesake of the fellowship he won in 1974, to do field research among Mexican American musicians in California for the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival. In 2000, he became director and curator of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution.
Under his leadership, Smithsonian Folkways has published more than 200 recordings, earned five Grammy awards, one Latin Grammy and 17 nominations. In 2010, he won the Americo Paredes, which recognized his career of integrating scholarship and engagement with the people and communities one studies.
He’s also a musician. In 1978 he co-founded Mariachi Los Amigos, the Washington, D.C. area’s longest existing mariachi ensemble. For more information about Sheehy, visit, arts.gov/honors/heritage/fellows/daniel-sheehy.