About the NEA

President and Mrs. Bush celebrate the 40th anniversary of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities

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The 2005 Medalist with President Bush in the Oval Office

President George W. Bush stands with recipients of the 2005 National Medal of Arts winners Thursday, Nov. 9, 2005, in the Oval Office. Among those recognized for their outstanding contributions to the arts were, from left: Leonard Garment, arts advocate; Louis Auchincloss, author; Paquito D'Rivera, jazzist; James De Preist, symphony conductor; Tina Ramirez, choreographer; Robert Duval, actor, and Ollie Johnston, animator. White House photo by Eric Draper.

2005President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush hosted the 2005 recipients of the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal along with other luminaries in the arts and humanities at a black tie dinner at the White House. The event marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the nation's cultural agencies.

The NEA and the NEH were established in 1965 with the enactment of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act.

In recognizing the success and accomplishments of the two agencies over the last 40 years, as well as under the current chairmanships of NEA Chairman Dana Gioia and NEH Chairman Bruce Cole, President Bush said, "...under their visionary leadership, America's programs to support the arts and humanities have continued to enrich our nation's cultural and civic life."

The National Medal of Arts, established by Congress in 1984, is awarded by the President to those who have made extraordinary contributions to the creation, growth, and support of the arts in the United States. Each year, the Arts Endowment seeks nominations from individuals and organizations across the country. The National Council on the Arts, the Arts Endowment’s Presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed advisory body, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the President, who selects the recipients.

For a complete transcript of the President's remarks, please go to: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/11/20051110-17.html