Just yesterday, President Barack Obama presented the National Medals of Arts in conjunction with the National Humanities Medals in an East Room ceremony at the White House. NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, "Whether its animation or architecture, writing or music, these artists' creativity and passion have made an enormous impact on our nation. I join the President in congratulating them and celebrating the arts in our country."
The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the federal government. It is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the United States.