President Donald Trump revives the National Medal of Arts, with plans to honor actor Jon Voight, singer Alison Krauss, Sharon Percy Rockefeller and US military musicians in a ceremony at the White House on Thursday.[Voight, Krauss and author James Patterson are shown above]
This will be the first time Trump hosted a National Medal of Arts ceremony, last held in 2016 by his predecessor, Barack Obama. Trump will also award the National Humanities Medal to the Claremont Institute, philanthropist Teresa Lozano Long, chef Patrick J. O & # 39; Connell and author James Patterson.
The award is given to individuals who "deserve special recognition because of their outstanding contributions to excellence, growth, support and accessibility to the arts in the United States," according to the National Endowment for the Arts. reviews nominations and sends recommendations to the president, who determines honorees.
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Voight is one of Trump's most visible Hollywood supporters, continuing a pre-inauguration event at Lincoln Memorial, and last posted a video on Twitter defending the president as he faces the impeachment investigation, Voight called it "the highest form of fraud."
During the recent ceremony, Obama awarded the medal to figures including Mel Brooks, Berry Gordy and Morgan Freeman, his other recipients included Jeffrey Katzenberg and Quincy Jone s, long-time supporters and donors.
Trump has had a difficult relationship with many in the arts community. In their three annual budgets so far, his administration has proposed eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities. But Congress has ignored these proposals.
In August 2017, most of the remaining members of the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities, an advisory committee established in 1982, resigned to protest Trump's response to the White Nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump canceled the executive order for the committee to expire later that year.
Trump has also not participated in the Kennedy Center awards. In 2017, Norman Lear nominees said he would boycott the traditional White House reception for honorees in protest of the administration's proposed elimination of NEA funding. The reception was canceled.