President Barack Obama presented medals in recognition of achievements made in arts and humanities. One of the most notable recipients of the official awards created a cultural event with their contribution, but no it wasn't a painting or an installation. It was a movie: Star Wars.
George Lucas, quite possibly the most famous of the artists honored, was recognized for his truly great work to American cinema. We have to admit that he crafted the art of storytelling utilizing an unending imagination and innovative film techniques. Star Wars in 1977 changed the game in special effects. Obama had to admit it himself.
"I remember when I first saw Star Wars," Obama said during the ceremony. "There's a whole generation that thinks special effects always look like they do today — but it used to be you'd see, like, the string on the little model spaceships."
The benefit was meant to honor "extraordinary men and women" who have been able "to open up minds and nourish souls and help us understand what it means to be human and what it means to be an American," Obama said. A dozen National Medals of Arts and another dozen National Humanities Medals were given out by the president.
Some recipients were: co-founder of A&M Records Herb Alpert, philanthropist Lin Arison, dancer Joan Myers Brown, jazz singer Renee Fleming, script writer Tony Kushner, and others.