White House Announces 2008 National Medal of Arts Recipients
Presidential initiative is managed by the National Endowment for the Arts
For immediate release:
Washington, D.C. -- President George W. Bush today announced the recipients of the 2008 National Medal of Arts. Nine medals were presented by the President and Mrs. Laura Bush in an East Room ceremony at the White House. The National Medal of Arts is a White House initiative managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA organizes and oversees the National Medal of Arts nomination process and notifies the artists of their selection to receive a medal, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.
"These individuals and organizations represent the variety and scope of great American art, from the traditional fine arts to popular culture,” said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "This lifetime honor recognizes their exceptional contributions to our national culture."
In a surprise announcement at the ceremony, President Bush announced the award of five Presidential Citizens Medals to NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Bruce Cole, President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities Chair Adair Margo, and Anne-Imelda M. Radice and Robert S. Martin, the current and former directors of the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The official citation for Chairman Gioia states: "A distinguished poet and educator, Dana Gioia has helped strengthen the role of the arts in our country. He has advanced some of our most treasured traditions, expanded public support for the arts and arts education, and increased the understanding and appreciation of the arts among our nation's youth. The United States honors Dana Gioia for his dedication to fostering creativity and expression and for helping preserve America's rich artistic legacy."
The 2008 National Medal of Arts Recipients
Olivia de Havilland, actress, Paris, France
The National Medal of Arts, established by Congress in 1984, is awarded by the President and managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. Award recipients are selected based on their contributions to the creation, growth, and support of the arts in the United States. Each year, the Arts Endowment seeks nominations from individuals and organizations across the country. The National Council on the Arts, the Arts Endowment's presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed advisory body, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the President, who selects the recipients.
The National Endowment for the Arts gratefully acknowledges The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities for its support of the 2008 National Medal of Arts.
Please see additional information on the National Medal of Arts on the NEA web site.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency