National Medal of Arts

The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. The National Medal of Arts is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who "...are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States."

See the archive recording of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal ceremony.

Photos of 2014 Medalists with the President available for download here.

Make a Nomination


The 2016 Guide provides details on the programs and activities that the NEA supports, as well as funding deadlines for our various grants. Included is information on Grants for Organizations,...
This publication provides information on the National Medal of Arts and how to submit nominations. Included is a list of all award recipients from 1985 to the present.


Joe Riley headshot
Charleston Mayor and 2009 National Medal of Arts recipient