Al Pacino, Mel Tillis and Andre Watts are among the honorees at the White House today as President Obama awards the National Medal for the Arts.
Also receiving honors are painter Will Barnet, poet Rita Dove, philanthropist Emily Rauh Pulitzer, sculptor Martin Puryear and the United Service Organization.
The honorees are selected by the National Council on the Arts, which advises the National Endowment for the Arts. Members of the council include Terry Teachout, Frank Price and Lee Greenwood. The honors are given to individuals or organizations “…deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.”
Obama also will award the National Humanities Medal to Kwame Anthony Appiah, John Ashbery, Robert Darnton, Andrew Delbanco, Charles Rosen, Teoflio Ruiz, Ramon Saldivar, Amartya Sen and to National History Day.