‘Big Chief Monk’ honored by National Endowment for the Arts

September 29, 2016 | Updated: 12:13 p.m., September 29, 2016

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National Endowment of the Arts chairman, Jane Chu, from left, with Mardi Gras Indian Joseph Pierre "Big Chief Monk" Boudreaux(Tom Pich)

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -Among the Crescent City’s most flamboyant sights are the Mardi Gras Indians.

Now one of them, Joseph Boudreaux, has been awarded the U.S.’s highest folk art honor.  Boudreaux – also known as “Big Chief Monk” – has been named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts.  The NEA prize also comes with a $25,000 grant.

The 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellows at the Library of Congress on September 28, 2016. (back row, left to right) NEA Chairman Jane Chu, Bryan Akipa, Michael Vlahovich, Joseph Pierre “Big Chief Monk” Boudreaux, Bounxeung Synanonh, NEA Director of Folk and Traditional Arts Clifford Murphy. (front row, left to right) Billy McComiskey, Clarissa Rizal, Leona Waddell, Theresa Secord, and Artemio Posadas.

The 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellows at the Library of Congress on September 28, 2016. (back row, left to right) NEA Chairman Jane Chu, Bryan Akipa, Michael Vlahovich, Joseph Pierre “Big Chief Monk” Boudreaux, Bounxeung Synanonh, NEA Director of Folk and Traditional Arts Clifford Murphy. (front row, left to right) Billy McComiskey, Clarissa Rizal, Leona Waddell, Theresa Secord, and Artemio Posadas.

Boudreaux is one of nine recipients of the fellowship this year.   He, and his fellow tribesmen in the Golden Eagles, will also perform in a concert Friday, Sept. 30 in Washington.  You can stream the concert live at 7 p.m. Central time at www.arts.gov.