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

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!