President Trump to Award Arts and Humanities Medal for First Time

November 18, 2019 Updated: November 18, 2019

President Donald Trump is set to award the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal on Nov. 21, the White house announced on Nov.17.

The award, initiated in 1997, is presented to individuals or groups whose outstanding work has strengthened the country’s understanding of the humanities and broadened citizens’ engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects.

Awards are reviewed by the National Council on the Arts, who send recommendations to the president who then determines who will be honored.

According to the statement, Trump will be presenting the National Medal of Arts award to the following people and groups:

Alison Krauss

American bluegrass-country singer and musician, Krauss is credited for her extraordinary contribution to American music, which the White House says has “enriched the souls of millions.”

Krauss signed with Rounder records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She has released fourteen albums and appeared on numerous soundtracks and won 27 Grammy awards during her career.

Sharon Percy Rockefeller

The wife of former West Virginia Senator John Davison “Jay” Rockefeller is noted as a “renowned champion of the arts” and honored for her generous charity work and being a “pioneer of new ideas and approaches in the field of public policy.”

Rockefeller has served the public broadcasting community for over 25 years as a leader and policymaker, and has been president and CEO of ’s Washington D.C’S flagship public TV and radio stations, WETA, since 1989.

The Musicians of the United States Military

The U.S. military musicians are credited for “personifying excellence in music and service to [the] country,” and are praised for inspiring and uplifting Americans with their breathtaking musical talent with their performances in concert halls and war zones.

Jon Voight

Longtime Trump supporter and actor Voight is honored for his “exceptional capacity as an actor to portray deeply complex characters” which “captivates audiences.”

Voight won the Academy Award for best actor in 1978 for his role in “Coming Home,” and has been vocal about his support of President Trump in the past, calling him “a man of truths, love and justice for the American people,” in a video posted to Twitter.

In the same video, Voight said praised the president for his love of the United States and for people all of all nations before, branding him “the greatest president of this century.”

Trump will also be presenting the National Humanities Medal to:

The Claremont Institute

The American conservative think tank based in Upland, California, is credited for “championing the nation’s founding principles and enriching American minds.” According to the White House, the Claremont Institute’s publications and public events have “deepened our understanding and appreciation of American freedom, democracy, justice, and rule of law.”

Teresa Lozano Long

Born and raised in the South Texas town of Premont, Teresa Long is a pioneer in education and philanthropy and is credited for her support in the arts and improving educational opportunities. She has helped children and young adults across the United States learn the skills they need to succeed through scholarships and philanthropy.

Patrick J. O’Connell

The chef, who has been the owner of The Inn at Little Washington for more than 30 years, is credited for raising the “culinary arts to new heights of excellence by embracing regional flavors and championing local farmers.”

O’Connell opened up the restaurant with his former business and romantic partner in Rappahannock County in 1978 before taking ownership in 2007. He has become a three-star Michelin chef and received five James Beard awards, which recognizes culinary professionals throughout the United States.

James Patterson

Author and philanthropist Patterson is considered one of the most successful American authors of our time and has penned a number of bestselling books including “Unsolved,” “The 18th Abduction,” and “Criss Cross.” The White House credits his “prodigious imagination” which it says has “resulted in fascinating works that have been enjoyed by millions and his championship of literacy in America has inspired many to realize their potential.”

The announced recipients will be the first to receive the prestigious national medals since Trump took office in 2017. The most recent arts or humanities medals were awarded by President Barack Obama in September 2016.

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