THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Coventry, England) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release December 14, 2000
PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES YEAR 2000 RECIPIENTS OF NATIONAL MEDAL OF ARTS AND NATIONAL HUMANITIES MEDAL President Clinton today announced the recipients of the National
Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal for the year 2000. The President and First Lady will present the awards on December 20 at D.A.R. Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. A White House dinner in honor of the recipients will be held that evening.
The Medal of Arts, established by Congress in 1984, honors individuals and organizations who, in the President's judgment, deserve special recognition for their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States. It will be presented to 10 artists, an arts patron and a cultural broadcaster. The National Humanities Medal honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities. Twelve individuals will receive the National Humanities Medal. The President selects the honorees for both Medals.
"We honor these medalists for their extraordinary contributions to the vitality of our nation's cultural life," said President Clinton. "Through their work, they have stimulated our imaginations, celebrated our diversity, tested our beliefs and connected us to each other and our common humanity. They also have helped us recognize the important role of the arts and humanities in our great democracy."
2000 National Medal of Arts recipients are:
Maya Angelou (Winston Salem, N.C.) -- Best known as a poet and writer, Angelou has explored diverse artistic avenues as a dancer, singer, actor, scriptwriter, producer and author of children's books.
Eddy Arnold (Nashville, Tenn.) -- Known as the Ambassador of Country Music, Arnold played a major role in popularizing country music and establishing the Nashville recording industry.
Mikhail Baryshnikov (New York, N.Y.) -- A celebrated artist in the dance world, Baryshnikov first rose to stardom in classical ballet and has pursued his passion for more than 40 years in a range of dance disciplines.
Benny Carter (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- One of the most influential arrangers, composers, orchestra leaders and instrumentalists in American music, Carter is best known as a virtuoso alto saxophonist.
Chuck Close (New York, N.Y.) -- A painter, Close first gained recognition with his large-scale black and white portraits of faces in 1967. Since then, he has continued to revolutionize modern portraiture with his enormous mosaic-like works, executed from photographs using an intricate grid system.
Horton Foote (New York, N.Y. and Wharton, Texas) -- Foote's award-winning career as a prolific writer for the stage, film and television spans six decades. He is the winner of two Academy Awards, the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and an Emmy.
Lewis Manilow (Chicago, Ill.) -- A generous patron of the arts, Manilow has made significant contributions to the cultural life of Chicago through his considerable philanthropic support, as well as his involvement in numerous visual and performing arts organizations.
National Public Radio, Cultural Programming Division (Washington, D.C.) -- For almost 30 years, NPR's Cultural Programming Division has created a world stage on the air, earning 16 Peabody Awards for its presentation of the finest jazz, classical and folk music, comedy, opera, drama and literary expression.
Claes Oldenburg (New York, N.Y.) -- One of the pioneers of Pop Art, Oldenburg is renowned for his outsized sculptures that reference consumer goods with wit and humor. His work is represented in museum collections throughout the world.
Itzhak Perlman (New York, N.Y.) -- The most acclaimed violinist of his generation, Perlman is renowned not only for his flawless technique but also for his irrepressible joy of making music. He has earned 16 Grammy Awards for his best-selling recordings.
Harold Prince (New York, N.Y.) -- A theater director and producer, Prince has dominated Broadway's musical theater for a generation, earning a record-breaking 20 Tony Awards.
Barbra Streisand (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- As film director, producer, writer, actress, singer and composer, Streisand's diverse and prolific career has been highlighted by a series of firsts. She is the only artist ever to earn Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace and Peabody Awards, as well as the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement honor.
Bill Ivey, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, said, "Through their remarkable creations, brilliant performances and enlightening broadcasts, these medalists have truly touched our hearts, opened our minds and moved our spirits."
2000 National Humanities Medal recipients are:
Robert N. Bellah (Berkeley, Calif.) -- Eminent authority on the sociology of religion, and award-winning author, Bellah is the Elliott Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley.
Will D. Campbell (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) -- A renowned civil rights activist, Campbell is the award-winning author of 16 books, including "Brother to a Dragonfly," "Providence," and "The Glad River."
Judy Crichton (New York, N.Y.) -- A documentary writer, producer and director, Crichton was executive producer of PBS's premier historical series "The American Experience."
David C. Driskell (Hyattsville, Md.) -- One of the world's leading authorities on African American Art, Driskell has served as professor of art and art history at Howard and Fisk Universities and currently is a Distinguished University Professor of Art, Emeritus at the University of Maryland.
Ernest J. Gaines (Lafayette, La.) -- Author of award-winning novels and short stories exploring race and culture in the American South, Gaines is a professor of English and writer-in-residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Herman T. Guerrero (Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Territory) -- A philanthropist, humanist, preservationist and civic proponent, Guerrero's leadership has helped foster preservation and understanding of the history and culture of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Quincy Jones (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- An award-winning musician, composer, producer, cultural preservationist and humanitarian, Jones has dedicated his career to promoting and supporting African American arts, music and culture.
Barbara Kingsolver (Tucson, Ariz.) -- Named by Writer's Digest as one of the 100 best writers of the 20th century, Kingsolver is a leading voice for human rights, social responsibility and the environment in contemporary American fiction.
Edmund S. Morgan (New Haven, Conn.) -- A Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University, Morgan is a distinguished authority of Puritan and American colonial history whose many books have reached general as well as scholarly audiences.
Toni Morrison (Princeton, N.J.) -- A Princeton University English Professor, Morrison has explored the African American experience in her many novels, essays and articles. She is the winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Earl Shorris (New York, N.Y.) -- Shorris is the creator of the Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities, an experimental attempt to transform the lives of the disadvantaged through education in the humanities.
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve (Rapid City, S.D.) -- Author of 20 books and numerous short stories and essays about Native American life and culture, Sneve is a retired teacher who grew up on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
"Through their powers of creativity and vision, the National Humanities Medalists are helping to preserve, interpret and expand the nation's cultural heritage. Their work represents an invaluable public service," said National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman William R. Ferris.
The National Endowment for the Arts seeks nominations for the Medal of Arts, and the agency's National Council on the Arts recommends honorees. The Medal of Arts medallion was designed by artist Robert Graham. The National Endowment for the Humanities seeks nominations for the National Humanities Medal, and the agency's National Council on the Humanities recommends honorees. The Humanities medallion was designed by 1995 Frankel Prize winner, David Macaulay.