The White House said President Joe Biden will present the 2021 National Medals of Arts in conjunction with the 2021 National Humanities Medals on Tuesday during a ceremony in the East Room.
The list for the National Medal of Arts recipients includes Bruce Springsteen, José Feliciano, Gladys Knight, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mindy Kaling, Antonio Martorell-Cardona, Judith Francisca Baca, Fred Eychaner, Joan Shigekawa and Vera Wang, along with organizations the Billie Holiday Theatre and the International Association of Blacks in Dance.
The honor, the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the U.S. government, goes 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.” The NEA reviews the nominations each year and provides recommendations to the President, who selects the recipients.
The National Humanities Medals for 2021 will go to Just Mercy writer and justice advocate Bryan Stevenson; poet Richard Blanco; anthropologist Johnnetta Betsch Cole; historian Earl Lewis; educator Henrietta Mann; authors Walter Isaacson, Ann Patchett, Amy Tan, Colson Whitehead and Tara Westover; and call-in show Native America Calling.
Elton John is also on the 2021 NEH medal list; he received his honor in September and played a concert on the White House lawn.
Feliciano is the only other recipient who will not attend Tuesday’s ceremony, which is honoring the 2021 winners after delays due to the Covid pandemic.
The National Endowment for the Humanities supports and rewards learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities.