Actress Sally Field and author Stephen King are among luminaries set to receive a National Medal of Arts or a National Humanities Medal from President Obama.
The president will bestow the honors on 18 people and three institutions during a White House ceremony Thursday.
Field is receiving an arts medal for showing dignity, empathy and fearlessness in performances that have touched audiences worldwide, as well as for showing those same qualities in her off-screen advocacy for women, LGBT rights and public health.
King is receiving an arts medal for combining storytelling with analysis of human nature, and for thrilling readers through decades of work.
Alice Waters, chef-owner of the organic restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., is receiving a humanities medal for her work as a champion of a holistic approach to eating and health.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities were created by Congress in 1965 to provide grants to support artistic excellence and creativity.
Other recipients include authors Larry McMurtry, Tobias Wolff, Annie Dillard, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein and Jhumpa Lahiri; architect Everett L. Fly; historians Vicki Lynn Ruiz and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham; artists John Baldessari and Ann Hamilton; and singers Meredith Monk and George Shirley.