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President Biden Presents Mindy Kaling National Medal of Arts for ‘Capturing and Uplifting Experiences of Women and Girls’

President Biden Presents Mindy Kaling National Medal of Arts for ‘Capturing and Uplifting Experiences of Women and Girls’

  • The Indian American writer, producer, author, director and actress was among 23 prominent artists who were honored in a White House ceremony.

Mindy Kaling was among 23 prominent artists who received the 2021 National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. The awards were presented today (March 21) by President Joe Biden in conjunction with the National Humanities Medals at the White House. an event that had been delayed due to COVID-19.

These medals recognize people who have “helped to define and enrich our nation’s cultural legacy,” endowment chair Maria Rosario Jackson said in a statement. Bruce Springsteen, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gladys Knight and Vera Wang were among the other recipients.

Kaling is honored for her “work across television, film, and books inspires and delights—capturing and uplifting the experiences of women and girls across our nation.”

The Indian American writer, producer, author, director and actress was 24 when she joined the eight-person writing staff of “The Office” as the only woman. During her eight seasons on the show, she served as both producer and executive producer on over 120 episodes, earning five consecutive nominations for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. She accomplished this while also starring as Kelly Kapoor, writing 26 episodes (more than any other writer), and directing two episodes. She has the barrier-breaking honor of being the first woman of color to be Emmy nominated in any writing category.

Following “The Office,” she went on to create, star in, and executive produce “The Mindy Project” which ran for six seasons, and write, produce and star in her feature film debut “Late Night.” She co-created and executive-produced the Netflix series “Never Have I Ever,” which has been renewed for its third season. The series centers on the complicated life of Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a modern-day first-generation Indian American teenage girl. She’s an overachieving high school sophomore with a short fuse that gets her into difficult situations.  

Her HBO Max/Warner Bros. TV comedy series “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” is gearing up for its third season. It is based on four roommates at Essex College, a prestigious New England university. 

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She is executive producing and voicing the title character in Warner Bros. Animation’s upcoming HBO Max adult animated comedy “Velma.” She is also co-writing the third installment in the “Legally Blonde” series with Dan Goor. Additionally, she has committed to re-team with Dan Goor to write and star alongside Priyanka Chopra in a comedy about an Indian American wedding under Universal.

The 2021 National Medal of Arts recipients includes musician Jose Feliciano, artist Judith Francisca Baca, radio station owner Fred Eychaner, actor Mindy Kaling, the International Association of Blacks in Dance, the Billie Holiday Theatre, producer Joan Shigekawa and painter Antonio Martorell Cardona.

Recipients of the 2021 National Humanities Medal winners are “The Underground Railroad” novelist Colson Whitehead, poet Richard Blanco, author Walter Isaacson, educator Johnnetta Betsch Cole, academic Henrietta Mann, author Ann Patchett, “The Joy Luck Club” author Amy Tan, historian Earl Lewis, Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, Native America Calling and author Tara Westover.

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