Angeleno & Arts Ed Supporter Herb Alpert Receives National Medal for the Arts

Wed, 08/21/2013 - 2:17pm

By Aáron Heard

This past July, Herb Alpert was inducted into the ranks of a historically impressive group of artists when he was awarded one of twelve National Medal of Arts awards by President Obama. Herb Alpert was born in California to Jewish immigrant parents, both musicians. In fact, his entire family, including his siblings, were interested in music, and Alpert began taking trumpet lessons at a very young age. Music became Alpert’s  calling and he went on to enjoy a very successful career, winning eight Grammy awards over his career and co-founding A&M Records. Alpert’s artistic career didn’t end with music; he is also a successful painter and sculptor, with a current exhibition on display at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica.  

Recipients of the National Medal of Arts are just as diverse in characteristics as in art discipline.  Whether performing or visual artists, they are all trailblazers of the arts setting the examples for younger generations of artists to whom they are a beckoning symbol that the arts are thriving and important to the country. With this recognition, Alpert joins artistic giants like Bob Dylan, Clint Eastwood, Maya Angelou, and Quincy Jones. 

Although Herb Alpert is a phenomenal artist, it isn’t only his creative ability that gives him the caliber to be an honoree; it is his passion for giving back to the art community. In the 1980s Alpert created the Herb Alpert Foundation and began a relationship with CalArts, starting the Alpert Awards in the Arts program. In 2007, he and his wife donated $30 million to UCLA to endow the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.  It is this giving spirit that makes Herb Alpert an exceptional candidate and honoree of this prestigious award.

Photo credit: Adjani, via HerbAlpertPresents