THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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.
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.