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The National Medal
of Arts is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals
or groups who, in his 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."
The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowships
are the highest honors that our nation bestows upon jazz musicians.
These fellowships are given in recognition that this magnificent
art form, so profoundly based in American culture, is one of America’s
greatest gifts to the world.
To honor and preserve our nation’s diverse cultural heritage,
the National Endowment for the Arts annually awards up to ten one-time-only
NEA National Heritage Fellowships to master folk and traditional
artists. These fellowships recognize lifetime achievement, artistic
excellence and contributions to our nation’s traditional arts