National Medal of Arts

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"Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more willing to take risks." — Yo-Yo Ma
"Art broadens perspective, fosters appreciation for beauty, lifts us above ourselves, enables us to project beyond our circumstances, and gives us a common language to explore disparate ideas." — Rita Moreno, 2019 Nancy Hanks Lecture Did you know that in addition to being an EGOT (winner of an Emmy...
"Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you're doing. If you're not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it." -- Aretha Franklin
"If any art form, anything, gets us to take a moment's pause and look at something afresh, that's got to be a good thing." — Maya Lin ICYMI, we spoke with Maya Lin for our NEA Arts magazine issue on Innovation. Read her story here .
Read our interview with artist and architect Maya Lin about innovation, or watch our milestone video about her career.
Read the president's full remarks from the 2015 National Medal of Art and National Humanities Medal ceremony here .
Man instructing young ballerinas at ballet barre
A product of the imperial courts of France and Russia, classical ballet is steeped in aristocratic ideals. Key to its history was a patrician vision of purity, uniformity, and whiteness...
"The arts and humanities aren't just there to be consumed when we have a free moment. We need them like medicine. They help us live." -- President Barack Obama at the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal ceremony You can view an archive of the live webcast of the...
Latino dancer practicing.
In 1970, dancer, choreographer, and future National Medal of the Arts honoree Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispanico . As current artistic director Eduardo Vilaro explained, Ramirez created the company “in...
“I don't think that my job is to represent people, or to assist in a political struggle. I feel like it's my job as a citizen to do that, but as an artist, my job is more I think to try and describe the world as truthfully as I'm able to do it, and to get below the surface of things, to get at...

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