President Barack Obama will be honoring 18 people and three institutions at the White House this coming Thursday, according to a Yahoo! News report released on Saturday. The president will be handing out the National Medal of Arts or a National Humanities Medal at the ceremony. Many of the persons are very well known by the public. One of the best-known recipients is Academy Award winning actress Sally Field. The actress, currently residing in Los Angeles is to receive an arts medal for her dignity, empathy and fearlessness in performances that have touched audiences throughout the globe. Additionally, she has been chosen for the honor due to her off-screen advocacy for public health, women, and LGBT rights.
Field, however, may be best known for her 1984 Academy Award acceptance speech for her performance in the movie “Places in the Heart” in which she proclaimed, “You like me!” The entire quote was: “I can’t deny the fact that you like me! Right now, you like me!” Would be nostalgically ‘cool’ if she’d proclaim those words again to Obama on Thursday night. But, it probably won’t happen.
Stephen King is also one of the persons to receive the award. King is a famous author who resides in Bangor, Maine. The writer has captivated his audience of readers for decades with his written words. He is receiving an arts medal for his literary work. It is said that he combines storytelling with analysis of human nature.
A National Humanities Medal is to be given to Alice Waters. Waters is a chef and owner of Chez Panisse. Her organic restaurant is in Berkeley, California. The reason she has been chosen for the award is because she has championed a holistic approach to eating and health.
Besides Field and King, according to Access Hollywood, the other National Medal of Arts recipients are: John Baldessari who is a visual artist from Venice, California; Ping Chong who is a theater director, choreographer and video and installation artist from New York City, New York; Miriam Colon who is an actress, director and theater founder from New York City; Meredith Monk who is a composer, singer and performing artist from New York City; George Shirley who is a tenor vocalist from Ann Arbor, Michigan; Tobian Wolff who is an author and educator from Stanford, California; the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in New York City; Ann Hamilton, who is a visual artist from Columbus, Ohio; and the University Musical Society, Performing Arts Presenter of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The recipients of the National Humanities Medal are: Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham who is a historian from Auburndale, Massachusetts; Annie Dillard who is an author from Key West, Florida; Rebecca Newberger Goldstein who is a novelist and philosopher of Boston, Massachusetts; Larry McMurty who is a novelist, essayist and screenwriter from Archer City, Texas; Everett L. Fly who is an architect from San Antonio, Texas; Jhumpa Lahin who is an author from New York City; Fedwa Malti-Doublas who is a professor and scholar from Rhinebeck, New York; Vicki Lynn Ruiz who is a historian from Irvine, California; and Clemente Course in the Humanities which is an educational institution which teaches the humanities at the college level in Annandale-On-Hudson, New York.
These awards – the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities – were created fifty years ago by the United States Congress. They were created to provide grants to support artistic excellence and creativity. The organizations also advance the understanding and appreciation of history, philosophy, language, and literature.