U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today met with Seamus Connolly of North Yarmouth who was awarded a prestigious 2013 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) National Heritage Fellowship. Mr. Connolly earned the fellowship for his accomplishments in traditional Irish fiddle music. He is visiting Washington, D.C. to attend this year's awards ceremony at the Library of Congress and perform a concert at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium.
"It was an honor to meet with Mr. Connolly this morning. His achievements as an Irish fiddler demonstrate a true passion for sharing and celebrating Ireland's rich cultural history," said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. "Maine is lucky to have him as a contributing member of our diverse and talented artist community."
Mr. Connolly was born in Killaloe, County Clare, Ireland and immigrated to the U.S. in 1976 to the Boston area where he taught a variety of regional styles of Irish fiddling. Prior to being named a 2013 NEA National Heritage fellow, he was a ten-time winner of the Irish National Fiddle Championship, the 2002 Tradition Musician of the Year by The Irish Echo, and was awards the 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of his outstanding contributions American culture and society.