President Obama will honor DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg with the 2013 National Medal of Arts. The honor, which will also be bestowed upon 11 other individuals and organizations this year, is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government.
Katzenberg is one of Obama’s top campaign donors, having personally donated over $3 million to Democratic super-PACS that back the president and raising an additional $30 million for Obama. He is one of the first businessmen to ever receive the award, which traditionally honors artists. President Obama toured DreamWorks’ campus last year.
The announcement for the honors described Katzenberg as “director and CEO of DreamWorks.” A National Endowment for the Arts spokesperson later clarified to the press that “director” referred to Katzenberg’s role on the DreamWorks Animation board.
Over 300 National Medals of Arts have been handed out since 1985. The only other animation-related person who has received the honor was Disney animator Ollie Johnston in 2005.
Katzenberg will receive his medal on July 28; the event will be streamed on the White House website.