President Barack Obama will present writer Julia Alvarez, singer Linda Ronstadt and the founder of DreamWorks, Jeffrey Katzenberg, among others, with the National Medal of Arts, the White House announced Tuesday.
The award, which is bestowed to acknowledge significant contributions to U.S. culture, will be formally presented by the president at a White House ceremony on Monday, July 25.
Alvarez, a novelist of Dominican origin, is the author of literary hits such as "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents."
The announcement says she will be honored for her "extraordinary storytelling," adding that in "poetry and in prose, Ms. Alvarez explores themes of identity, family, and cultural divides. She illustrates the complexity of navigating two worlds and reveals the human capacity for strength in the face of oppression."
Meanwhile, Katzenberg, the producer of animated films such as "Shrek," is being recognized "for lighting up our screens and opening our hearts through animation and cinema. Mr. Katzenberg has embraced new technology to develop the art of storytelling and transform the way we experience film," the White House said.
Others being honored with the highest award given for the arts by the federal government will be visual artist James Turrell, singer Linda Ronstadt, architects Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, journalist Diane Rehm, dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones, arts patron Joan Harris, musical-theater composer John Kander, writer Maxine Hong Kingston and documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles.