Tod Williams and Billie Tsien were honored with the prestigious National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). As the highest award bestowed to artists and arts patrons by the U.S. federal government, the medal specially recognizes individuals or groups for their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the country.
President Barack Obama individually presented the medals to Williams, Tsien, and all the recipients during the recent awards ceremony at the White House in Washington D.C.
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"Billie Tsien and Tod Williams [were acknowledged] for their contributions to architecture and arts education. Whether public or private, their deliberate and inspired designs have a profound effect on the lives of those who interact with them, and their teaching and spirit of service have inspired young people to pursue their passions"
The list of notable medal recipients also included:
"The National Endowment for the Arts manages the nomination process on behalf of the White House. Each year, the Arts Endowment seeks nominations from individuals and organizations across the country. The National Council on the Arts, the Arts Endowment's presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed advisory body, reviews the nominations and provides recommendations to the President, who selects the recipients."