FW: Pool #1

From: John Fritze [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2016 1:25 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Subject: Pool #1

From: Fritze, John
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:35 PM
To: xxx@email.com
Subject: pool #1

President Obama entered the East Room at 11:49 a.m. for the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal ceremony. In dark suit and gray tie, Obama said he and the first lady have "tried to make it a priority to promote the arts and the humanities, especially for our young people."

Obama described the recipients as "essential to who we are as Americans."

"Their paths and their mediums could hardly be more different, and that's what makes them great," the president said. "They open our experience to theirs, and for that we honor them here today."

The event was open press; recipients previously announced by the White House. Obama placed the large, golden medals around the neck of each recipient, one by one, after a brief biography was read.  The military aide reading the names appeared to skip over the name of actress Audra McDonald, and the president later joked that he was "glad Audra's already a good friend of mine."

The president named each of the recipients in his remarks, which lasted about nine minutes at the top, singling out Mel Brooks, Louise Glück, Philip Glass, Terry Gross. Obama noted the absence of Morgan Freeman, a National Medal of Arts recipient, and joked that the actor was "undoubtedly off playing black president again. He never lets me have my moment."

Following handshakes and applause, Obama walked out of the East Room at 12:23 p.m.

John Fritze
The Baltimore Sun
Mobile: xxx-xxx-xxxx

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