[image-1]Bishopville’s Drink Small, a.k.a. the Blues Doctor, was among the nine artists yesterday who received the highest honor in the folk-art world from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Now based in Columbia, Small was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship, which recognizes outstanding Americans who are master folk and traditional artists.

Small was in good company with other folk artists around the nation, including quilters of Gee’s Bend in Alabama, Florida circus aerialist Dolly Jacobs, folklorist Daniel Sheehy from Virginia, and Wisconsin Slovak straw artist/egg decorator Sidonka Wadina. Each recipient was awarded $25,000.

The 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellows will be honored in Washington Oct. 1-2, 2015 with an awards ceremony and a free concert.

We spoke to Small a few months back, and he didn’t hold back in regaling us with his incredible life adventures. Congrats to the Doctor and all recipients for this well-deserved accolade.