Wyoming Arts Council

White House announced 2008 National Medal of Arts Recipients

On November 17, President George W. Bush 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 going 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
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 (below,left) sculptor, Rockport, TX
The Presser Foundation, music patron, Haverford, PA
The Sherman Brothers, songwriting team, Los Angeles, CA and London, England

The Presidential initiative is managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. For the full release and bios for the recipients, please go to http://www.arts.gov/news/news08/Medals.html

WAC notes: Dana Gioia was the keynote speaker at the first Wyoming Arts Summit, held in Casper in October 2007. He will be stepping down as director of the NEA this coming January. A sculpture by Jesus Moroles is part of the University of Wyoming Art Museum’s year-long Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational, with work exhibited on campus and throughout Laramie. Moroles will participate in the Public Art Symposium: Inspiration and Reflection, April 3-4, 2009, at the UW Conference Center in Laramie.

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