Monday, February 13, 2012
President Obama Awards Rita Dove National Medal of Arts
Earlier today in the White House East Room, VCCA Advisory Council member Rita Dove was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama. Poet Rita Dove was the leading literary figure among the seven who received the National Medal of Arts, joining Al Pacino, singer Mel Tillis, painter Will Barnet, sculptor Martin Puryear, pianist André Watts and creative arts patron Emily Rauh Pulitzer.
Before awarding the medals, Obama said the arts have a power to bring people of different backgrounds and beliefs together. "You've helped guide our growth as a people," the President told the honorees.
Rita Dove served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995. Among her numerous accolades, Rita won the Pulitzer Prize for her Thomas and Beulah poetry collection in 1987, and the National Humanities Medal in 1996. She teaches at the University of Virginia.