Art & Heritage Partnerships

New Media Gallery

Jack Straw Cultural Center teamed up with Northwest Heritage Resources in 2015 to present the nationwide exhibit: Extraordinary Ordinary People: American Masters of Traditional Arts in the Jack Straw New Media Gallery in Seattle.

In every community, master artists and artisans contribute to the rich artistic and cultural legacies of the United States. Extraordinary Ordinary People recognizes the best of these traditional artists – recipients of the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship – through photographs, art objects, videos and interactive media.

The exhibit shares a name with a young-readers book authored by Alan Govenar in 2006, which profiled five National Heritage fellows. Govenar, a folklorist and scholar based in Austin, Texas, established the nonprofit Documentary Arts, which produced the exhibit and much of its filmed content. Extraordinary Ordinary People: American Masters of Traditional Arts collected recipients of the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship and put them under one roof, moving from venue to venue across the country with accompanying public programs. First featured at the Michigan State University Museum, the exhibit boasted large, eye-catching portraits of many honorees by Govenar, plus interactive sound and video features.

Jack Straw Cultural Center proudly presented the multimedia exhibit in Seattle from September 11 to November 30, 2015, along with a wide range of traditional artist performances, humanities programs, and education programs.

Photos on this page by Nat Seymour and Jack Straw staff.


Traditional artist performances & humanities programs showcased at Jack Straw: 

Sin Fronteras, nueva cancion music of Latin America | September 25
Wilho Saari, Finnish kantele player and National Heritage Fellowship winner performed with the Seattle Finnish Choir at Brechemin Auditorium | October 2
Debi Prasad Chatterjee, sitar, Hindustani classical music | October 9
Cowboys and Indians: Not the Hollywood Version, humanities program with Yakama elder Virginia Beavert and cowboy poet Sharon Glenn | October 30
I Done What I Could: Occupational Folk Poetry from the Pacific Northwest, humanities program presented by folklorist Jens Lund | November 13
Hale Bill & the Bopps, Scandinavian traditional music | November 20


Traditional artist demonstrations showcased at Jack Straw:

Elizabeth Leese, Norwegian American rosemaling | September 12
Saalmathlat Ethel Hillaire-Warbus, Pacific NW Native American (Lummi) basket & hat-making | September 26
Wilho Saari, Finnish-American kantele playing | October 3
Yoshiyasu Fujii, Japanese American calligraphy | October 31
In addition to the public calligraphy program, Jack Straw and Yoshiyasu Fujii presented an exhibit tour and calligraphy workshop for students from Seattle World School.
Etienne Cakpo and Yaw Amponsah, West African drumming | November 14th
In addition to the public drumming demonstration, Jack Straw presented a drumming and dance workshop with Etienne and Yaw for blind and visually impaired youth from our Blind Youth Audio Project.

[Ukrainian American wheat weaving with Oleksandra Pryveda, originally scheduled for this date, was canceled]

This program was funded in part by Finlandia Foundation, 4Culture, Northwest Heritage Resources, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission, Humanities Washington and KUOW 94.9.

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