Lucas is to be honored for his contributions to American cinema. “By combining the art of storytelling with boundless imagination and cutting-edge techniques, Mr. Lucas has transported us to new worlds and created some of the most beloved and iconic films of all time,” the White House said his citation will read.
Alpert, the founder of A&M Records, and the Tijuana Brass, will be honored for his varied contributions to music and the fine arts.
Playwright/screenwriter Kushner, best known for 1993's "Angels in America," will be honored for his contributions to the theater and films. “Whether for the stage or the silver screen, his scripts have moved audiences worldwide, marrying humor to fury, history to fantasy and the philosophical to the personal,” said the White House.
May will be honored for her contributions to American comedy. “With groundbreaking wit and a keen understanding of how humor can illuminate our lives, May has evoked untold joy, challenged expectations, and elevated spirits across our nation,” the White House said.
Others to be honored are: Lin Arison, co-founder of the National Young Arts Foundation and the New World Symphony; Joan Myers Brown, dancer, choreographer and founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company; opera singer Renée Fleming; author and teacher Ernest Gaines; painter, sculptor and printmaker Ellsworth Kelly; landscape architect Laurie Olin; composer, producer and performer Allen Toussaint; and the Washington Performing Arts Society.
Obama also will give out the National Humanities Awards that day.
Among recipients are author Joan Didion, playwright Anna Devere Smith and sports editor and writers Frank Dedford.