WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is honoring 21 individuals and organizations for their contributions to the arts and humanities, including Maine author Stephen King.

The honorees being celebrated Thursday in an East Room ceremony at the White House include actress Sally Field, chef Alice Waters and King, who lives in Bangor.

The president says he loves to celebrate the brilliance of artists, innovators and thinkers.

But he jokingly added that this kind of awards ceremony leaves everybody else to “look on and feel totally inadequate.”

Obama says the artists, singers, authors and others being honored all share truths about the common experiences of Americans and human beings.

In all, Obama is awarding the National Medal of Arts to 11 people and organizations. And he is awarding the National Humanities Medal to 10 people and groups.

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