Two master traditional artists have been awarded inaugural Indiana Heritage Fellowships in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their artistic traditions and to their Hoosier communities. Debra Bolaños, a ballet folklórico dancer and instructor in East Chicago, Indiana, and Harold Klosterkemper, a fiddle player from Decatur County, Indiana, will be honored for their lifetime achievement as artists whose work is rooted in community life in Indiana.
“Harold Klosterkemper has inspired generations of Indiana fiddlers. For decades he has been a regular at area fiddle contests and gatherings,” notes Jon Kay, Director of TAI. “You can often find him playing with and encouraging musicians a fraction of his age.” Kay added that TAI looks for artists whose art connects them to a community. “After years of excelling as a traditional dancer, first in Indiana and later in Mexico, Debra Bolaños became a ballet folklórico teacher in East Chicago, and has taught hundreds of students in Northern Indiana traditional, regional dances from throughout Mexico.”
On Saturday, April 27, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., demonstrations and performances by traditional artists from throughout Indiana will fill the Mathers Museum’s halls in a celebration and recognition of Klosterkemper and Bolaños. Celebration highlights will include performances by Ballet Folklórico of East Chicago, Indiana, and bluegrass music performers. Demonstrations will include blacksmithing, Miami and Great Lake beadwork embroidery, Zapotec weaving, hoopnet making, and African drum making. The awards ceremony will be from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
This event will be free and open to the public.