Top of page

Pics of the Week: NEA National Heritage Fellow Eva Ybarra!

Share this post:

As part of the American Folklife Center’s celebration of the 2017 NEA National Heritage Fellowships, we featured a concert yesterday with awardee Eva Ybarra, a Texas conjunto bandleader known as the “Queen of the Accordion.” Her instrument is a beautiful three-row diatonic button accordion which she plays with great dexterity, making it sound almost chromatic. During the show I got several good shots of Eva and her squeezebox. I’m especially captivated by Eva’s mischievous smile as she plays a good-time dance tune in the following shot:

Eva Ybarra plays Texas conjunto accordion in the Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, on September 13, 2017. Photo by Stephen Winick.

On the other hand, the above photo is very horizontal.  One of my other shots required some maneuvering to get, and as a consequence captures an interesting angle on one of Eva’s more pensive moments:

Eva Ybarra plays Texas conjunto accordion in the Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, on September 13, 2017. Photo by Stephen Winick.

These photos stem from our partnership with the National Endowment for Arts, which bestows the  The NEA National Heritage Fellowship on America’s living national treasures. This award is the highest honor given by the United States government on traditional artists. All the documentation of their artistry that goes into their selection as Fellows is donated to the Library of Congress, where it’s held in the AFC archive.

At 5:30 p.m. today, we will be hosting an awards ceremony for this year’s National Heritage Fellows. The ceremony will include a presentation of medals to the Fellows and short remarks by the recipients in attendance. It will be held in the Coolidge Auditorium here in the Thomas Jefferson Building, so if you’re in the neighborhood you’re welcome to drop by.

We’re proud to work with the NEA on this, to have this great collection, and also to document the artists during their performances and appearances at the Library. Their performances are captured on sound and video recordings, as well as photos like these!

So, which of these pictures do you like better?  Drop me a comment if you have an opinion!


Comments (2)

  1. Both photos are so expressive, so full of the different emotions of this woman – how to choose one over the other? I can’t!

  2. I favor the first one. Your text on her smile does the picture justice as does the picture do for the text. Speaking as photographer who captures live performances, I know how demanding it is to wait study and shoot persons doing their thing.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.