President Obama Presents Medals in Arts and Humanities

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010, for the 2009 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal ceremony. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The President presented the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal for 2009 in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in a ceremony Thursday evening.

The 12 winners for the National Medal of Arts were announced in the afternoon and awarded their medals by President and Mrs. Obama in an evening ceremony. Winners of the NMA include famous singer/musician/activist Bob Dylan, the designer Milton Glaser; the artist and architect Maya Lin; the singer and actor Rita Moreno; the soprano Jessye Norman; the artist Frank Stella; the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas; the composer and conductor John Williams; and Joseph P. Riley Jr., the mayor of Charleston, S.C. The actor and director Clint Eastwood was also named a medalist but not present at the ceremony. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the School of American Ballet were awarded medals as well.

The annual award is managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. In a statement, the endowment’s chairman, Rocco Landesman, said the winners represented “the breadth and depth of American architecture, design, film, music, performance, theater and visual art.”

First Lady Michelle Obama congratulates Elie Wiesel at a White House ceremony in which he received the National Humanities Medal.

President Obama also presented the 2009 National Humanities Medals to eight Americans for their outstanding achievements in history, literature, cultural philanthropy, and museum leadership. This years winners: prize-winning authors and historians Robert A. Caro (“The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power, Means of Ascent and Master of the Senate”), Annette Gordon-Reed (“The Hemingses of Monticello”), David Levering Lewis, (“W.E.B DuBois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century 1919-1963″) and William H. McNeill (“Plagues and Peoples”). The list also includes speechwriter and lawyer Theodore Sorensen, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Philippe de Montebello, philanthropist Albert H. Small, as well as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, founding chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the author of “Night.”

The official citations honoring each medalists can be found here.

The National Humanities Medal honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities.

President Barack Obama, not pictured, acknowledges actress Sarah Jessica Parker, as first lady Michelle Obama looks on, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010, before he presented the 2009 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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The President’s remarks can be read here.
Last photo credit: Image by MANDEL NGAN / Getty Images

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6 Comments

Filed under Art, Culture, Fashion, First Lady Michelle Obama, News, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

6 responses to “President Obama Presents Medals in Arts and Humanities

  1. I liked that the President started out his speech with:

    “I’m sorry I’m a little late…I had this thing I had to do”

    Talk about having a long day! Seven hours on bi-partisan health reform, and then this. Wow. 🙂

  2. thank you for the diary and the video. great job, and I was thinking the same thing – what a long day…LOL

    • you’re welcome! He told them before the general election, that the president should be able to do more than one thing at a time. After yesterday’s grueling 7 hour meeting, I’m sure the ceremony last night was a welcome relief 🙂

  3. I love Frank Stella’s work. Good to see his name included.
    TOG

  4. Pingback: Tuesday Open Thread - Jack & Jill Politics

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