Three African Americans will be among the awardees at the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal ceremony at the White House.

The event is open to the press and can be viewed on www.whitehouse.gov/live.

2012 National Medal of Arts

Joan Myers Brown for her contributions as a dancer, choreographer, and artistic director. Founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company, Ms. Brown carved out an artistic haven for African-American dancers and choreographers to innovate, create, and share their unique visions with the national and global dance communities.

Ernest J. Gaines for his contributions as an author and teacher. Drawing deeply from his childhood in the rural South, his works have shed new light on the African-American experience and given voice to those who have endured injustice.

2012 National Humanities Medal

Anna Deavere Smith for her portrayal of authentic American voices. Through profound performances and plays that blend theater and journalism, she has informed our understanding of social issues and conveyed a range of disparate characters.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by the Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the Federal Government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with State arts agencies, local leaders, other Federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. The National Endowment for the Humanities was created in 1965 as an independent Federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the Nation. The Endowment brings high-quality historical and cultural experiences to large and diverse audiences in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and five territories.The National Endowment for the Arts was established by the Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the Federal Government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with State arts agencies, local leaders, other Federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. The National Endowment for the Humanities was created in 1965 as an independent Federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the Nation. The Endowment brings high-quality historical and cultural experiences to large and diverse audiences in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and five territories.

Read it at White House.