NEA and NEH Medals Awarded, Along with Surprise Citizen Medals for Presidential Arts Staffers

It was a good week to be a number of things: a higher-up in the world of arts management, an artist yourself, or well, pretty much any other sort of creative person. That’s due to President Bush‘s handing out this year’s National Medals of Arts and the National Humanities Medals, which went to a very, very wide variety of people and organizations, from the Fisk University Jubilee Singers to WGN radio
host Milton Rosenberg to the Met‘s VP of External Affairs’ Harold Holzer. In short: if you wanted to see maybe one of the most randomly diverse crowds at the White House this year, it would have been this. And in one of those “isn’t that sweet” moments in a lame duck President’s final days, he also surprised a number of his arts staffers by awarding them with the Presidential Citizens Medal:

The recipients of the award — among the highest honors that can be conferred on a citizen — were present, but had no idea what was coming. They are Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment of Humanities; Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts; Adair Margo, chairman of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and Bob Martin, former Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Martin’s successor, Anne Radice, received the medal, too, but could not attend the ceremony.

More info/photos from the NEA here and the NEH, here.