Robinson, Jones Honored With Medal Of Arts

Music legends Smokey Robinson and George Jones are among the nine individuals who have been awarded the 2002 National Medal of Arts. The country and R&B greats were honored yesterday (March 6) by

Music legends Smokey Robinson and George Jones are among the nine individuals who have been awarded the 2002 National Medal of Arts. The country and R&B greats were honored yesterday (March 6) by President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at a Washington, D.C., ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House.

Others who will receive the award are designer/architect Florence Knoll Bassett, dancer/choreographer Trisha Brown, museum director Philippe de Montebello, actor/educator Uta Hagen, landscape architect/environmental planner Lawrence Halprin, painter/stage designer Ming Cho Lee, and late artist/caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.

"We honor these individuals for the singular distinction of their artistic careers," Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, said in a statement. "Whether they were creating stunning choreography, reconceiving contemporary stage design, or adding Motown to our nation's musical vocabulary, these remarkable people have made significant contributions to our nation's cultural life."

The U.S.' highest honor for artistic excellence, the National Medal of Arts is given by the President to those who have made extraordinary contributions to the creation, support, and growth of the arts in America. Musicians who have received the award previously include Johnny Cash and Yo-Yo Ma (2001), Eddy Arnold, Benny Carter, Itzhak Perlman, and Barbra Streisand (2000), Aretha Franklin and Odetta (1999), Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Fats Domino (1998), Betty Carter and Tito Puente (1997), and Lionel Hampton (1996). For the full list of past recipients, visit the National Endowment for the Arts' Web site.