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National Medal of Arts

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  • Joan Didion (1934 - 2021)
    Joan Didion (born December 05, 1934, Sacramento, California, U.S.- died December 23, 2021, New York City, New York, U.S.) was an American writer who launched her career in the 1960s after winning an es...
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    Mary Violet Leontyne Price (b. February 10, 1927).American soprano. Born and raised in the Deep South, she rose to international acclaim in the 1950s and 1960s, and was one of the first African America...
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    Philip Hanes Jr. (February 25, 1926 – January 16, 2011), was an American businessman, conservationist, and patron of the arts. He was CEO of the Hanes Corporation from 1964 to 1976, and founder of Ampe...

National Medal of Arts

The National Medal of Arts is an award and title created by the United States Congress in 1984, for the purpose of honoring artists and patrons of the arts. It is the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people. Honorees are selected by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and ceremoniously presented the award by the President of the United States. The medal was designed for the NEA by sculptor Robert Graham.



In 1997, poet Adrienne Rich refused her award as a protest against “inconsistencies” between art and “the cynical politics” of the Clinton White House administration.