National Medal of Arts: Nomination Instructions & Frequently Asked Questions
The March 15th deadline for 2021 nominations has passed.
How do I submit a nomination?
Please complete the online nomination form. Because of difficulties with receipt of mail, the Arts Endowment will no longer receive nominations by mail.
Who is eligible to receive the National Medal of Arts?
Any U.S. citizen or group who, in the president's judgment, "...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." [U.S.C. Sec. 955b (b) (1)]
Nominees must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have filed for naturalization and who are not ineligible to become U.S. citizens. Nominated organizations must be established or incorporated in the United States. The National Council on the Arts will only consider living candidates and organizations.
Can I submit more than one nomination?
Yes, but you must complete separate nomination forms for each nominee.
What information must I submit for my nomination?
In writing your nomination, please provide concrete examples of what the nominee has accomplished that merits receiving the highest honor the U.S. Government awards to artists and arts patrons. Career highlights, not comprehensive biographies, are requested. Provide sources for the information where possible. This award is bestowed only to U.S. citizens who have made exceptional contributions to the arts; the most competitive nominees will be familiar to the reviewers. The purpose of your nomination is to remind the reviewers that your nominee should be considered.
The information requested on the "For All Nominations" section is the most important; any critical biographical material should be provided here. Please provide the source(s) of the information. Brochures, books, or music samples will not be accepted.
Has my nominee already won this award?
Please check the lists of previous winners. For your convenience, the lists is available in both chronological and alphabetical order. Individuals and groups may receive the medal only once.
I'm not sure if my nominee is a U.S. citizen.
Your nominee must be a citizen or in the process of being naturalized in order to be considered for the National Medal of Arts. You may be able to get this information through the nominee's business contacts.
How does the nomination process work?
The National Council on the Arts reviews nominations and sends recommendations to the president of the United States, who determines the honorees. The White House will schedule the announcement and presentation ceremony, which typically takes place in the fall.
I nominated someone last year. Do I have to submit a new nomination form?
Yes. The nomination process is not automatically renewable.
I'd like to nominate someone posthumously.
Posthumous nominations are not accepted.
Will my nomination be acknowledged by the Arts Endowment?
Receipt of nominations will be acknowledged online.
Where do I mail my completed nomination?
We accept online nominations only.
What if I have additional questions?
Contact the NEA's Office of the Chief of Staff at (202) 682-5434.
How do I learn who National Medal of Arts winners are?
As soon as the White House announces the winners, the names are posted on the Arts Endowment's website.