For his contributions to American cinema, George Lucas will be one of 12 recipients of the 2012 National Medal of Arts that will be presented with the award on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, the White House announced last week.
Joining Lucas in being honored are a wide array of people including comedian-screenwiter Elaine May (Nichols and May) and playwright-screenwriter Tony Kushner. May is being honored for her contributions to American comedy. Kushner for his contributions to theater and film.
President Barack Obama will make the presentation in the East Room to the recipients of the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal.
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by the Congress in 1965 to serve as an independent agency of the Federal Government.
According to the NEA website, the awards are “designed to honor exemplary individuals and organizations that have encouraged the arts in America and offered inspiration to others through their distinguished achievement, support, or patronage.”
The medal was established by Congress in 1984. Congress has authorized the President that no more than 12 medals each year will go to “to individuals or groups who, in the President’s judgment, are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.”
Lucas most recently sold Star Wars and Lucasfilm to Disney.