Indian-American celebrity TV actor-producer Mindy Kaling, among others, was presented with the 2021 National Humanities Medal by United States President Joe Biden at a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, 21 March. The ceremony was also attended by first lady Jill Biden.
Releasing the list of 2021 National Medal of Arts Recipients, the White House said, “Imbued with humour and heart, Mindy Kaling’s work across television, film, and books inspires and delights—capturing and uplifting the experiences of women and girls across our Nation.”
The awards being bestowed, however, are for 2021, owed to a backlog due to the Covid pandemic.
The US government awards the National Medal of Arts, one of the most prestigious honour for artists, arts patrons, and groups.
This award recognises exceptional individuals and organisations that have promoted the arts in America, and have served as a source of inspiration to others through their distinguished achievements, support, or patronage.
The first National Medal of Arts were awarded in 1985 with the initial recipients including renowned artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Martha Graham, and Richard Diebenkorn.
Since then, the medal has been awarded annually to a wide range of individuals and organisations from various fields of the arts, including music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literature, and film.
Other recipients of the award include legendary singers Bruce Springsteen, fashion designer Vera Wang, singer Gladys Knight, Judith Francisca Baca, Jose Feliciano, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Antonio Martorell-Cardona, Fred Eychaner, Joan Shigekawa, the International Association of Blacks in Dance and The Billie Holiday Theatre.