Americans for the Arts' annual National Arts Awards are no joke. In the past, they've honored actors Angela Lansbury, Gabourey Sidibe, Robert Redford, and Yoko Ono. And this year, one of Miami's own will join their ranks.
Lin Arison, who started the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in 1981, and went on to found the New World Symphony with her late husband Ted Arison and composer Michael Tilson Thomas, will accept the arts organization's Arts Education Award at a ceremony in New York City in October.
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The award is an honor, but not exactly a surprise. Arison has long been recognized for her philanthropic efforts. In 2010, she was ranked at number 28 on Philanthropy.com's "Philanthropy 50," a list of America's biggest donors, for contributing $39 million to the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, a sum designated to start that organization's YoungArts program to fund arts education for high school students and teachers.
Arison's late husband, Ted, founded Carnival Cruise Lines. Arison herself is an author who splits her time between Miami and Israel; the Miami Herald reports she is working on her fourth book.
Other 2012 National Arts Award winners are investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen; artist James Rosenquist; actor Brian Stokes Mitchell; and musician Josh Groban.