President Obama to Award 2014 National Medals of Arts
September 3, 2015
Washington, DC — President Barack Obama will present the 2014 National Medals of Arts in conjunction with the National Humanities Medals on Thursday, September 10, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. ET in an East Room ceremony at the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama will attend. The event will be live streamed at WH.gov/Live.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, "Ranging from literature, theater, and visual arts to arts presentation and philanthropy, these artists and organizations have broadened our horizons and enriched our lives. I join the President in congratulating them and celebrating what the arts do for America."
OFFICIAL CITATIONS: These citations will be read by the President at the awards ceremony. The citation is followed by the medalists’ current place of residence.
John Baldessari for his contributions as a visual artist. His ambitious work combines photography, painting, and text to push the boundaries of image, making him one of the most influential conceptual artists of our time. (Venice, CA)
Ping Chong for his contributions as a theater director, choreographer, and video and installation artist. Mr. Chong’s innovative performances explore race, history, technology, and art to challenge our understanding of humanity in the modern world. (New York, NY)
Miriam Colón for her contributions as an actress. Ms. Colón has been a trailblazer in film, television, and theater, and helped open doors for generations of Hispanic actors. (New York, NY)
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for supporting creative expression across the country. With generosity and a bold commitment to artistic risk, this foundation has helped artists, musicians, dancers, and actors share their talents, enriching the cultural life of our Nation. (New York, NY)
Sally Field for her contributions as an actress and filmmaker. The dignity, empathy, and fearlessness of her performances have touched audiences around the world, and she has deployed those same qualities off-screen in her advocacy for women, LGBT rights, and public health (Los Angeles, CA)
Ann Hamilton for her contributions as a visual artist. Ms. Hamilton uses time as process and material, and her work demonstrates the importance of experiencing the arts first-hand in the digital age. (Columbus, OH)
Stephen King for his contributions as an author. One of the most popular and prolific writers of our time, Mr. King combines his remarkable storytelling with his sharp analysis of human nature. For decades, his works of horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy have terrified and delighted audiences around the world. (Bangor, ME)
Meredith Monk for her contributions as a composer, singer, and performer. Renowned for her groundbreaking vocal techniques, Ms. Monk has reimagined the instrument of voice with her innovative work. (New York, NY)
George Shirley for his contributions as a tenor. The first African American tenor to sing in a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Shirley has captivated audiences for more than 50 years with his masterful performances. As a pioneer and as a teacher, Mr. Shirley has paved the way for generations of aspiring African American opera singers. (Ann Arbor, MI)
University Musical Society for presenting the performing arts to communities in Michigan. For over a century, the Society has brought world-class orchestras, dance ensembles, jazz performers, and theater companies to Michigan, while supporting the study and creation of new works. (Ann Arbor, MI)
Tobias Wolff for his contributions as an author and educator. His raw works of fiction examine themes of American identity and individual morality. With wit and compassion, Mr. Wolff’s work reflects the truths of our human experience. (Stanford, CA)
PHOTOGRAPHS: Photos of each medalist with the President will be available for download from this page shortly after the event.
Join the conversation on Twitter at #ArtsHumanitiesMedal.
MEDALIST CONTENT: Tobias Wolff is an NEA Big Read author with his book Old School and appears in a video interview discussing his life and his work. The NEA has podcasts with Ping Chong and Meredith Monk.
The 2014 National Humanities Medals will be presented at the same ceremony. Among the recipients is author Jhumpa Lahiri who is also an NEA Big Read author for her novel The Namesake.
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. Please see additional information on the NEA website.
The National Endowment for the Arts manages the nomination process on behalf of the White House. Each year, the Arts Endowment seeks nominations from individuals and organizations across the country. The National Council on the Arts, the NEA’s presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed advisory body, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the President, who selects the recipients.
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