Tony Kushner was among those receiving
the 2012 National Medal of Arts and Humanities on Wednesday from
President Barack Obama in an East Room ceremony.
“The work that we honor today, the
lifetime achievement of these artists and these scholars, reminds us
that the human imagination is still the most powerful tool that we
have as a people,” Obama told those attending the ceremony.
“That's why we celebrate their creativity and the fundamental
optimism, the notion that if they work that hard somebody will
actually pay attention. That's why we have to remain committed to
the dreamers and the creators and innovators who fuel that progress
and help us light the way ahead, because our children, our
grandchildren deserve to grow up in a country where their dreams know
no bounds and their ambitions extend as far as their talents and hard
work can take them. And it's important that they have examples –
people who’ve carved out a path for them.”
The 56-year-old Kushner co-authored the
screenplay for the 2005 film Munich and wrote last year's
Lincoln. But he is best known for his 1993 play Angels In
America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes.
Obama hugged Kushner as he arrived to
receive his medal.
Others honored included musician Herb
Albert and filmmaker George Lucas.