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NEA Seeks National Medal of Arts Nominees

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2013 National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists, arts organizations, and arts patrons in the United States. Over the years, three landscape architects have received this honor: Lawrence Halprin (2002), Daniel Urban Kiley (1997), and Ian McHarg (1990).

The American public may nominate artists and arts patrons for this award through the National Endowment for the Arts website. The deadline is April 5, 2013. The medals are awarded annually by the president, with the NEA managing the nomination process.  

At the 2011 National Medal of Arts ceremony, President Barack Obama described the annual event as "a moment when America has a chance to pay tribute to extraordinary men and women who have excelled in the arts and the humanities, and who, along the way, have left an indelible mark on American culture."

Since the inception of the National Medal of Arts in 1984 under President Ronald Reagan, 290 individuals [] have been honored for their creativity, inspiration, and hard work. These exceptional individuals have significantly enriched the cultural life of our nation and include writers such as Rita Dove and Ralph Ellison; visual artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Frank Stella; actors such as Meryl Streep and Al Pacino, musicians such as Van Cliburn and Jessye Norman; dancers such as Twyla Tharp and Tina Ramirez, as well as architects, designers, arts educators, directors, and composers. Arts organizations such as Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival have been recognized as have arts patrons including Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Hon. Joseph P. Riley Jr., mayor of Charleston, South Carolina.

Nominees for a National Medal of Arts must be U.S. citizens with a distinguished professional career that merits receiving the U.S. government’s highest award. Competitive nominees will be familiar to reviewers, so the purpose of the nomination is to remind reviewers that a nominee should be considered. Posthumous nominations are not accepted, and all nominations must be made online.

You can learn more about some of the past recipients of the National Medal of Arts on the NEA website. Its podcast library includes interviews with about 13 National Medal of Arts recipients, such as André Watts, Milton Glaser, Olivia de Havilland, and Stan Lee. In addition, visit the NEA's Art Works Blog.

The White House expects to announce the recipients of the 2012 National Medal of Arts and set a date for them to be awarded shortly. For further information on the National Medal of Arts, please contact the NEA's Office of the Chief of Staff at 202-682-5434.

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