Charlotte Wilson Heth

Class of 1955
Inducted 2016


Charlotte Wilson Heth, PhD, Class of 1955, Professor Emerita of UCLA, is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She began her primary research in Oklahoma Cherokee music and music of surrounding tribal groups, and throughout her career she continued researching, doing applied work in, and publishing American Indian music, ethnomusicology, dance, education, and other American Indian topics.

An extensive traveler, Charlotte served with the Peace Corp in Ethiopia for two years, with the distinction of being the first female volunteer from Oklahoma. She then taught at the Junior High and High School level before beginning her career at UCLA. There she taught courses on comparative American Indian music, as well as graduate seminars in Contemporary American Indian issues, Cultural World Views of Native America, among other things.

In 1994 she left the teaching profession to accept the post of Assistant Director for Public Programs at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. There she curated exhibits and led workshops for museum professionals and educators. Upon her retirement, she served as visiting curator at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Charlotte is multi-lingual and has been featured in numerous publications, films, and recordings.

Among the many honors she has received, Charlotte was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Society for Ethnomusicology.