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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 2, 1995

The President and First Lady will honor 17 distinguished American artists and humanists and one arts education organization for their outstanding contributions to the nation's cultural life at White House ceremonies on Thursday, October 5.

Honorees are the 13 recipients of the 1995 National Medal of the Arts, selected by the President in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, and the five recipients of the 1995 Charles Frankel Prize in the Humanities, chosen by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

"The stellar list of honorees includes some of the brightest beacons in American arts and culture," the President observed. "These are the people who lift our spirits and illuminate our lives, and it is entirely fitting that we honor them today."

The First Lady said, "We are delighted to pay tribute today to these extraordinary individuals, who have contributed so much to American life."

The President has proclaimed October as National Arts and Humanities Month. The White House awards ceremony headlines the events marking this celebration.

The National Medal of Arts honors distinguished artists and patrons who have offered inspiration to others either through their artistic achievement or exceptional work on behalf of the arts. The Frankel Prize honors Americans who have had outstanding success in bringing the insights of the humanities to wide public audiences.

Named by President Clinton as 1995 National Medal of Arts recipients are:

     Licia Albanese, opera singer, New York, New York
     Gwendolyn Brooks, poet, Chicago, Illinois
     Gerald and Iris Cantor, patrons Beverly Hills, California
     Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, actors, New Rochelle, New York
     David Diamond, composer, Rochester, New York
     James Ingo Freed, architect, New York, New York
     Bob Hope, entertainer, North Hollywood, California
     Roy Lichtenstein, painter and sculptor, New York, New York
     Arthur Mitchell, dancer and choreographer, New York, New York
     William S. Monroe, bluegrass musician, Goodlettsville, Tennessee
     Urban Gateways, arts education organization, Chicago, Illinois

     Winners of the 1995 Charles Frankel Prize for their work in the

humanities are:

     William R. Ferris, scholar and director of the Center
     for the Study of Southern Culture, Oxford, Mississippi
     Charles Kuralt, CBS correspondent and author, New York,
     New York
     David Macaulay, author and illustrator, Warren, Rhode
     David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and
     historian, West Tisbury, Massachusetts
     Bernice Johnson Reagon, performer, museum curator and
     historian, Washington, D.C.
     The Presidential awards presentation will take place on Thursday,

October 5, at 12:00 p.m., on the White House South Lawn. An official dinner honoring the recipients will be held that evening.

The White House ceremonies mark the 11th annual presentation of the National Medal of the Arts, which, unlike other arts awards, is not limited to a single field or area of artistic endeavor. The award honors "individuals who in the President's judgment 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."

Nominations for the National Medal of Arts are sought annually by the National Endowment for the Arts and reviewed by the agency's National Council on the Arts. Recommendations are then forwarded to the President for his selection. Winners receive a gold-covered sterling silver medal designed by sculptor Robert Graham of Los Angeles.

The National Endowment for the Humanities' Charles Frankel Prize, now in its seventh year, annually honors distinguished citizens who through their scholarship, writing, academic and/or philanthropic leadership have enriched the nation. The Prize commemorates the late Charles Frankel, an eminent professor of philosophy at Columbia University, and assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. Frankel was also the first director of the National Humanities Center in North Carolina and his life and work exemplify the integration of scholarship and public service.

The Frankel Prize recipients were selected by Humanities Chairman Sheldon Hackney from recommendations made by the National Council on the Humanities.

In the proclamation declaring October National Arts and Humanities Month, the President said, "America has flourished for over 200 years because of our willingness to cultivate the human spirit. In these challenging times, when some are questioning the value of public support for the arts and humanities, we must remember that these pursuits are not a luxury that we can live without -- they are a vital part of our national character, the motivating force that makes us who we are."

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the NEA and the NEH.

Attached: Biographies of the 1995 National Medal of Arts

          Winners and the 1995 Charles Frankel Prize

Contacts: Cherie Simon, National Endowment for the Arts,

          Gary Krull, National Endowment for the Humanities,