By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two Philadelphians are receiving presidential honors today at the White House.
Philadanco founder Joan Myers Brown and preeminent landscape architect Laurie Olin are among those receiving National Medal of Arts awards this afternoon at the White House.
Olin says when the National Endowment for the Arts called with word of the award, it was a true surprise.
“I was on a train and I got this call — I was in the quiet car! And I had to go out between the cars and try and listen,” Olin recalls. “And I said, ‘What?! You’re kidding. Who is this?!’ I couldn’t believe it!”
Brown — who received the 2009 Philadelphia award — says meeting the president at the White House tops even her Dance USA Honor this year.
“I thought that was my highest award that I would ever get,” Brown said. “And I just said, this is a ‘Wow’ award. Like, wow!”
Others receiving the award include musician Herb Alpert, artist Ellsworth Kelly and comedian Elaine May.