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Fisk University Jubilee Singers Awarded 2008 National Medal of Arts

Washington, D.C. — President George W. Bush today announced the recipients of the 2008 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest award for artists and arts patrons. The Fisk University Jubilee Singers and eight other recipients will receive medals presented by the President and Mrs. Laura Bush in a ceremony at the White House.

The National Endowment for the Arts manages the National Medal of Arts nomination process and notified the artists of their selection to receive a medal, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.

“These individuals and this organization have all made enduring contributions to the artistic life of our nation,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia. “Whether by composing profound choral works, or creating paintings of both beauty and unease, or giving us wonderful stories steeped in Native American traditions, their work has enriched our national culture.”

After a performance by the Jubilee Singers, Fisk President Hazel R. O’Leary, Board Chairman Robert Norton, and Musical Director Paul Kwami will receive the award from President and Mrs. Bush.

The National Medal of Arts, established by Congress in 1984, is awarded by the President and managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. Award recipients are selected based on their contributions to the creation, growth, and support of the arts in the United States.

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.

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