WASHINGTON, D.C.: The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) has announced the recipients of the 2015 National Medals of Arts. President Barack Obama will present the awards on Sept. 22 at the White House.
“These National Medal of Arts recipients have helped to define our nation’s cultural legacy through the artistic excellence of their creative traditions, and I join the President in congratulating and thanking them for their contributions,” said NEA chairman Jane Chu in a statement.
The recipients include Mel Brooks, New York City; Sandra Cisneros, San Antonio, Texas; the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Waterford, Conn.; Morgan Freeman, Charleston, Miss.; Philip Glass, New York City; Berry Gordy, Los Angeles; Santiago Jiménez, Jr., San Antonio, Texas; Moises Kaufman, New York City; Ralph Lemon, Brooklyn; Audra McDonald, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. and New York City; Luis Valdez, San Juan Bautista, Calif.; and Jack Whitten, New York City.
The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the federal government. The recipients are chosen through a national nomination process managed by the NEA. The National Council on the Arts, the NEA’s presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed advisory board, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations. The President selects the final recipients.