Lin Arison awarded 2012 National Medal of Arts

President Barack Obama presents honor at the White House




President Barack Obama awards 2012 National Medal of Arts to Lin Arison
President Barack Obama awarded a 2012 National Medal of Arts to Lin Arison for her contributions as a philanthropist and arts education advocate. Co-Founder of the National YoungArts Foundation and the New World Symphony, Ms. Arison’s work celebrates, showcases, and supports the next generation of great American artists. The award ceremony was held in the East Room of The White House. First Lady Michelle Obama was also in attendance.

During the ceremony, President Obama remarked, "...the work that we honor today, the lifetime achievement of these artists and these scholars, reminds us that the human imagination is still the most powerful tool that we have as a people... That’s why we have to remain committed to the dreamers and the creators and innovators who fuel that progress and help us light the way ahead, because our children, our grandchildren deserve to grow up in a country where their dreams know no bounds and their ambitions extend as far as their talents and hard work can take them."

"I am honored and deeply humbled to have been included among those who received the 2012 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama,” stated Ms. Arison. “To me, this award is a testament to the President’s recognition of the incredible work of the next generation of young artists in this country.

My late husband Ted and I founded New World Symphony 25 years ago and the National YoungArts Foundation 32 years ago to invest in something we cared about passionately: the development of emerging artists, and the need to encourage them to pursue their careers. These organizations have grown beyond our dreams, to contribute to the cultural vitality of our nation. Ted would be very proud to know that.

I am grateful to the people of Miami, where both organizations are headquartered, for their participation in developing new programs, testing new ideas, and supporting the future of the arts nationwide.

To the extraordinary people in whose company I find myself as one of this year’s honorees in the arts and humanities, I extend my thanks for everything they do."

“Lin Arison is one of the true champions of arts education in this country,” stated Paul T. Lehr, President & CEO of the National YoungArts Foundation. “Her commitment to nurturing and guiding the next generation of artists has changed the face of the arts in America and will continue to do so. The entire YoungArts family is thrilled to see her received this well-deserved recognition. We hope it inspires others to support young artists.”

“With great excitement, the New World Symphony and its Co-Founder and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas congratulate Lin Arison on being among the group of esteemed artists and arts advocates who have received this distinguished award,” remarked Howard Herring, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New World Symphony. “We are grateful for Lin’s unparalleled support as a tireless advocate for arts education and her commitment to our mission of developing leaders who will reimagine, reaffirm, express, and share classical music with as many people as possible.”

The National Medal of Arts, established by Congress in 1984, is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government, presented annually to individuals or groups in recognition of outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States. Ms. Arison is among 12 distinguished recipients including Herb Alpert, Joan Myers Brown, Renée Fleming, Ernest Gaines, Ellsworth Kelly, Tony Kushner, George Lucas, Elaine May, Laurie Olin, Allen Toussaint, and the Washington Performing Arts Society.