Honoring America’s greats: National Medal of Arts

Dance · Music · Theater · Visual arts

President Obama this morning honored some of our nation’s great artists in a ceremony at the White House.

Receiving the 2010 National Medal of Arts were Robert Brustein, the theater producer and critic; Van Cliburn, the pianist; Mark di Suvero, the abstract expressionist sculptor; poet Donald Hall; and the pioneering dance organization, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Others in the arts category are Harper Lee, the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” jazz greats Sonny Rollins and Quincy Jones, James Taylor and Meryl Streep.

The arts medal, established in 1984, is meant to honor “outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts,” according to the National Endowment for the Arts.

Dance fans were delirious to learn that Jacob’s Pillow, a presenter and preservationist of the great American art form of modern dance, was recognized for excellence.

arts•meme was particularly joyous to watch Sonny Rollins collect his award.

Said Rollins: “I’m very happy that jazz, the greatest American music, is being recognized through this honor, and I’m grateful to accept this award on behalf of the gods of our music.”

You tell it, Sonny. You’re one of them.

Read more on the national Medal for Arts:

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