Multi-talented Richardson to receive Heritage Award

Sep. 30, 2013 @ 08:17 PM

Arnold Richardson, a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, is one of five North Carolinians to be awarded the 2014 North Carolina Heritage Award.

The awards will be formally presented next May.

In a news release announcing the awards, Gov. Pat McCrory stated, “I want to congratulate this year’s winners and thank them for helping preserve our cultural heritage. Our artistic history is the foundation of the quality of life that attracts so many people to North Carolina.”

Richardson is a multi-talented artist, equally adept as a stone sculptor, gourd artist and flutist. He is credited with revitalizing the cultural heritage of eastern North Carolina’s American Indians. A musician and artist, Richardson has taught tribal arts traditions to the Haliwa-Saponi and assisted other tribes in rediscovering their heritage.

In addition to his prize-winning stone sculpture, pottery and beadwork, he has been recognized for the excellence of his gourd carving.

Richardson said his stone sculptures are table-top items.

“They are interpretations of Indian legends in stone,” he said.

He not only plays the flute, he makes American Indian courting flutes. In 2009, he toured with the N.C. Symphony.

“We started in Raleigh, then went to Charlotte, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach and Wilmington,” Richardson said.

He has also released five CDs and will present a concert at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh on Nov. 10.

Accolades for the Heritage Award winners came from a number of members of the state’s arts community.

Members of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe were pleased with the award.

“He’s a worthy recipient of the award. It’s quite an honor,” said Michael Richardson, chairman of the tribal council.

Karen Harley, a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, added, “We’re all very proud and excited about his award. He has definitely earned it with his service to the community.”

The other award recipients are:

• Bobby Hicks, a 10-time Grammy award-winning bluegrass fiddler.

• Susan Morgan Leveille, a weaver and grand-niece of Penland founder Lucy Morgan.

• Sid Luck, a fifth-generation potter from Seagrove.

• Bill Myers, whose band The Monitors has played rhythm and blues, and jazz music for more than 50 years.

The Heritage Awards have been presented each year since 1989 to honor folk artists and to raise awareness of the stories, music and artistry that comprise the state’s diverse cultural traditions.

The awards will be presented on May 20, 2014 at the A.J. Fletcher Opera House in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh.

 

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.