Obama to award 20 arts and humanities medals

March 2, 2011 4:58:28 AM PST
President Barack Obama is to award the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to 20 people Wednesday in the White House East Room. Among the 10 being given the National Medal of Arts are pianist Van Cliburn, musicians Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins and James Taylor, author Harper Lee and actress Meryl Streep. National Humanities Medals honorees include historians Jacques Barzun and Gordon Wood, and authors Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth. The first lady will take part in the ceremony.

Earlier, the president meets with advisers and has lunch with Vice President Joe Biden. And after the ceremony, both men will meet with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Oval Office.