Written by: The Classical Source
Ten medals were presented by the President and First Lady Laura Bush in an Oval Office ceremony at the White House that afternoon. The National Endowment for the Arts notified the artists of their selection to receive a National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.
“These ten remarkable individuals represent decades of significant artistic achievements,” said Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “These inspiring people and institutions have made special contributions to the richness of our nation’s cultural life.”
The 2003 National Medal of Arts Recipients
Austin City Limits, PBS television program, Austin, TX
Beverly Cleary, children’s book author, Carmel, CA
Rafe Esquith, arts educator, Los Angeles, CA
Suzanne Farrell, dancer/company director/educator, Morristown, NJ
Buddy Guy, blues musician, Orland Park, IL
Ron Howard, actor/director/writer/producer, Greenwich, CT
Mormon Tabernacle Choir, choral group, Salt Lake City, UT
Leonard Slatkin, symphony orchestra conductor, Washington, D.C.
George Strait, country singer/songwriter, San Antonio, TX
Tommy Tune, dancer/actor/choreographer/director, New York, NY
The Medal of Arts, established by Congress in 1984, is awarded by the President to those who have made extraordinary contributions to the creation, growth and support of the arts in the United States. The National Council on the Arts, the Endowment’s Presidentially appointed advisory body, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the President, who selects the recipients.
“I am very proud to have been selected as a recipient of this most prestigious honor,” Mr. Slatkin commented.“The arts are an invaluable source of this country’s vast creative output.To be recognized for any part of that spirit is indeed a humbling honor.”