President George W. Bush today announced the recipients of the 2008 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest award for artists and arts patrons. The Fisk University Jubilee Singers and 8 other recipients will receive medals presented by the President and Mrs. Laura Bush in a ceremony at the White House. The National Endowment for the Arts manages the National Medal of Arts nomination process and notified the artists of their selection to receive a medal, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.
“These individuals and this organization have all made enduring contributions to the artistic life of our nation,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia “Whether by composing profound choral works, or creating paintings of both beauty and unease, or giving us wonderful stories steeped in Native American traditions, their work has enriched our national culture.”
After a performance by the Jubilee Singers, President Hazel R. O’Leary, Board Chairman Robert Norton, and Musical Director Paul Kwami will receive the award from President and Mrs. Bush.
The 2008 National Medal of Arts Recipients
Olivia de Havilland, actress, Paris, France
Fisk Jubilee Singers, choral ensemble, Nashville, TN
Ford’s Theatre Society, theater and museum, Washington, DC
Hank Jones, jazz musician, NEA Jazz Master (1989), New York, NY
Stan Lee, comic book writer, producer, Los Angeles, CA
José Limón Dance Foundation, modern dance company and institute, New York, NY
Jesús Moroles, sculptor, Rockport, TX
The Presser Foundation, music patron, Haverford, PA
The Sherman Brothers, songwriting team, Los Angeles, CA and London, England
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.