Baca is among the 12 individuals and organisations receiving the US federal government’s top honour for artists and art patrons this year.
Judith Baca, the Chicana artist, educator and arts administrator who may be best known for her sprawling community mural project The Great Wall of Los Angeles—begun in the 1970s, still in process and, at 2,754ft, considered the longest mural in the word—is one of 12 cultural figures who will receive the National Medal of Arts from US President Joseph Biden and First Lady Jill Biden in today (21 March) at the White House.
Other honourees receiving National Medals of Arts alongside Baca on Tuesday include actor, writer and producer Mindy Kaling, music legends Gladys Knight and Bruce Springsteen, and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus—known, among other things, for playing a hapless US Vice-President on the HBO comedy Veep (her late father, William Louis-Dreyfus, was also a major art collector).
“We are a better nation because of their contributions,” National Endowment for the Arts chairperson Maria Rosario Jackson said in a statement. “Their work helps us see the world in different ways. It inspires us to reach our full potential and recognise our common humanity. I join the President in congratulating and thanking them.”[…]