A leader in the development of state and federal programs supporting traditional arts and folk cultures, Bess Lomax Hawes grew up with her father John Lomax and brother Alan in the first family of American folk music. Her compelling account of the folk music boom of the mid-twentieth century and the development of \u201cpublic-sector\u201d folklore includes family friends Ruth Crawford Seeger and Carl Sandburg, fellow Almanac Singers Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and other musicians and artists. Her own creative endeavors as producer of American folk culture films, author of academic papers and books, and coauthor of the Kingston Trio\u2019s hit \u201cMTA Song\u201d (adapted from a local political campaign jingle) unfold alongside her legacy of teaching guitar and American folk music to thousands of adults in Los Angeles. Whether teaching anthropology to college students, learning singing games from the Georgia Sea Island Singers, or directing the Folk and Traditional Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts, Hawes remains dedicated to preserving and appreciating the traditional cultures of America.
Bess Lomax Hawes is a renowned folklorist, teacher, and musicologist. Awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton in 1993, Hawes was the first director of the Folk and Traditional Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts.