Bruce Springsteen, Mindy Kaling among artists to be honored at White House

Mindy Kaling. Photo: Twitter @mindykaling

Bruce Springsteen, Gladys Knight, Mindy Kaling and Colson Whitehead are among the artists to whom President Biden will present awards at a White House ceremony on Tuesday, March 21.

Springsteen, the Grammy-winning, New Jersey-born rocker will be among the 12 recipients of the 2021 National Medals of Arts, according to an announcement from the National Endowment for the Arts. The “Born in the USA” singer created music that “celebrates our triumphs, heals our wounds, and gives us hope, capturing the unyielding spirit of what it means to be American,” the endowment said in its statement.

The National Medals of Arts recognize people who have “helped to define and enrich our nation’s cultural legacy,” endowment chair Maria Rosario Jackson said in a statement.


Other winners of 2021 National Medals of Arts include Kaling, the comedic actress and writer whose work was featured in NBC’s “The Office,” which was set in President Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pa., and Knight, the veteran singer who, the endowment said, created music that “inspired generations of artists.”

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played the bumbling vice president turned commander in chief in HBO’s “Veep” is on the list of honorees along with fashion designer Vera Wang; artist Judith Francisca Baca; painter Antonio Martorell-Cardona; arts educator and LGBTQI+ activist Fred Eychaner; musician Jose Feliciano; producer Joan Shigekawa; The Billie Holiday Theatre; The International Association of Blacks in Dance.

Also being honored on Tuesday, are recipients of the 2021 National Humanities Medals, from the National Endowment for the Humanities, whose work, according to a statement, “deepened the nation’s understanding of the human experience.”

Whitehead, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, will receive the humanities award in addition to poet and author Richard Blanco, Social historian Earl Lewis, novelists Ann Patchett and Amy Tan, writer Tara Westover, biographer Walter Isaacson, educator Henrietta Mann, Native America Calling, and anthropologist Johnnetta Betsch Cole, the former president of Spellman College and the first Black woman to hold that title.

Elton John, one of Biden’s favorite musicians, is a 2021 recipient but received his medal when he performed at the White House last September.



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