On January 13, 2021, President Donald J. Trump awarded the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal to the following individuals and organizations:
National Medal of Arts:
Toby Keith for making extraordinary contributions to American music. Rising from humble beginnings in the oil fields of Oklahoma, Toby Keith has become one of the preeminent songwriters of his generation.
Nick Ut for his decades of contributions to wartime photojournalism. Through his lens, Ut captures moments in time that remind us of the horrors of conflict. His most famous photograph, “The Terror of War,” is a permanent reminder of the past and an inspiration for a peaceful future.
Ricky Skaggs for his contributions to the American music industry. A virtuoso of the mandolin and fiddle, Ricky Skaggs creates and produces bluegrass music that preserves the musical legacy of the most talented artists of his generation.
Earl “Rusty” Powell III for his dedicated work preserving, procuring, and expanding the world’s greatest exhibitions as the longest-serving director of the National Gallery of Art.
Mary Costa for her extraordinary talent, inspiration, and contribution to the operatic arts. Her stellar career includes performances in 38 operatic roles.
National Humanities Medal:
Kay Coles James for her intellectual leadership, devotion to our Constitutional principles, and steadfast commitment to opportunity for all.
O. James Lighthizer for his decades of work protecting thousands of acres of Civil War battlefields for future generations. As a government official and then as the President of the Civil War Preservation Trust, James Lighthizer has devoted himself completely to preserving priceless historic sites so that all Americans can visit, learn, and pay their respects to those who sacrificed their lives on that hallowed ground.
The National World War II Museum for its devotion to bringing to life the story of America’s greatest generation and our remarkable victory against the forces of evil. The National World War II Museum has captivated millions of Americans with its compelling exhibits and expansive collections.
The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government. The National Humanities Medal honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the Nation’s understanding of the humanities and broadened our citizens’ engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects.