There is hereby established a National Medal of Arts, which shall be a medal of such design as is deemed appropriate by the President, on the basis of recommendations submitted by the National Council on the Arts, and which shall be awarded as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
(1) The President shall from time to time award the National Medal of Arts, on the basis of recommendations from the National Council on the Arts, to individuals or groups who in the President's judgment are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the United States.
(2) Not more than twelve of such medals may be awarded in any calendar year.
(3) An individual may be awarded the National Medal of Arts only if at the time such award is made such individual—
(A) is a citizen or other national of the United States; or
(B) is an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence who (i) has filed an application or petition for naturalization in the manner prescribed by section 1445 of title 8 and (ii) is not permanently ineligible to become a citizen of the United States.
(4) A group may be awarded the National Medal of Arts only if such group is organized or incorporated in the United States.
(5) The presentation of the National Medal of Arts shall be made by the President with such ceremonies as the President may deem proper, including attendance by appropriate Members of Congress.
Funds made available to the National Endowment for the Arts shall be used to carry out this section.
(Pub. L. 98–306, §13, May 31, 1984, 98 Stat. 225.)
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