According to the National Endowment for the Arts, the medal is given to artists who “are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.”
Other recipients included opera and theater star Mary Costa, longtime director of the National Gallery of Art Earl Powell III and wartime photojournalist Nick Ut.
Keith performed at Trump’s inauguration in 2017 and Skaggs also voiced his support for the President prior to the 2016 election.
In 2019, Trump presented the National Medal of the Arts to Alison Krauss, actor Jon Voight, broadcasting executive Sharon Percy Rockefeller and the Musicians of the United States Military.
Of course, while the Trump was handing out the medals, the House was voting to impeach him for the second time during his presidency.