National Arts Awards to Honor Sophia Loren, Lady Gaga, Herbie Hancock & More

Americans for the Arts, the leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, today announced its annual National Arts Awards honorees. The awards recognize artists and arts leaders who exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary achievement. They are individuals who share a common BELIEF in the power of the arts and arts education to enrich individual lives and communities alike.

This year's National Arts Awards recipients are:

Sophia Loren - Carolyn Clark Powers Lifetime Achievement Award
Lady Gaga - Young Artist Award
Herbie Hancock - Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award
Alice Walton - Arts Education Award
Joan and Irwin Jacobs - Philanthropy in the Arts Award
Maria Bell - Legacy Award

The 2015 National Arts Awards will be presented on Monday, October 19th at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City as part of National Arts and Humanities Month. Carolyn Clark Powers will serve in her inaugural year as Event Chair-alongside co-chairs Sarah Arison, Gagosian Gallery, David and Susan Goode, Susan and John Hess, Nora C. Orphanides, Regina K. Scully, and former National Arts Awards honoree Agnes Gund.

The evening will feature the work of visual artist Kerry James Marshall and a special musical performance by YoungArts, with musical direction by Jake Goldblas and featuring a performance by THE VOICE finalist, India Carney. This year's award presenters include five-time Tony-winning, Emmy- and DGA-winning and Academy Award nominee, director, and choreographer Rob Marshall; art patron and collector Agnes Gund; La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director and Tony-nominated director Christopher Ashley; literary scholar, journalist, and cultural critic Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; and international art world figure and Americans for the Arts Artists Committee Member Jeff Koons. The National Arts Award itself was designed by Mr. Koons in 2009-who himself received the National Arts Award for Artistic Achievement in 2006.

"The recipients of the National Arts Awards represent a deep commitment to the arts, and we are thrilled to be honoring such a tremendous group of artistic visionaries and leaders," said Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert L. Lynch. "Sophia Loren, Lady Gaga, Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Alice Walton, Herbie Hancock, and Maria Bell have all contributed enormously to America's artistic and cultural legacy. Their persistence and extraordinary achievements have already served as an inspiration, and their work will continue to change the future of the arts in America for the better."

Event Chair Carolyn Clark Powers commented, "I am honored to be chairing my first National Arts Awards and to celebrate the greatest artistic and cultural achievements in America. I, alongside Americans for the Arts, congratulate all of this year's honorees for the indelible mark they have left on the cultural fabric of our nation."

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