The Ceremony That Got Us in the Genechtagazoink (video)

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 5:47pm

The Ceremony That Got Us in the Genechtagazoink (video)

by Trent Gilliss (@TrentGilliss),  Executive Editor / Chief Content Officer

These past two weeks have been a time of celebration and joy for all of us at On Being. The President of the United States awarded Krista Tippett the 2013 National Humanities Medal "for thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence." The White House writes:

"On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of all faiths, no faith, and every background to join the conversation."

On Monday, Krista was planted in the East Room of the White House receiving her medal from President Obama. Absolutely surreal. Family duties had me roaming around northern Minnesota at that time, so we stopped off at a Cenex station to watch the live video stream on my phone. At the moment when she bowed her head, my wife and I looked at each other and got a might bit weepy.

She joins an incredible list of past medal recipients, including Joan Didion, Wendell Berry, Steven Spielberg, Studs Terkel, Quincy Jones, and Bill Moyers, to name a few. As someone who has worked with Krista more than a decade on this adventure, I'm so pleased we can share this moment with you. It's been an absolute honor and I couldn't be more heartened to see her recognized for her talents... and tenacity.

Oh, and you really ought to watch the full ceremony aboe. Seeing legendary artists like Bill T. Jones and Julia Alvarez cross the same stage is an absolutely moving experience as an American, and as a fan of their work.

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Trent Gilliss is executive editor of On Being and chief content officer of Krista Tippett Public Productions. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on "The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi" and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent's reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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I watched this ceremony (National Humanities Medal) with keen appreciation for the tradition and for Krista and all of the On Being team. Congratulations.

Trent Gilliss's picture

So much fun, wasn't it? And to see all these great minds being honored for their work made me feel so proud to be an American.

Congratulations to Krista, Trent, and all of your team. I cannot think of how many hundreds of hours I have shared with you in your conversations. Music is wonderful, but to hear you enable the greatest minds in the world to speak so freely on such rich subjects in great depth, is just like listening to the finest of music, only better. This award was greatly deserved for the gifts of hope and wonder that you bring to us all. Thank you.

Trent Gilliss's picture

So very well said, Geoffrey! We definitely have to use this in the On Being brochure. ;)

My first show was John Polkinghorne, then I went back and further back into the archives..

Excellent - so excellent that Krista Tippett has not only birthed and nurtured On Being, but is being recognized for her important work, and for helping us all to "love the questions,". I join with all who honor her accomplishment and say "Congratulations" with a grateful heart!

Trent Gilliss's picture

Thank you, Suzanne!

Congratulations on this recognition of your talent, perseverance and faith.

So wonderful to get this recognition among so many other great contributors!

Bravo, On Being! And especially to, of course, Krista, for her skill in preparing for and executing exquisite interviews. I've been blessed to have discovered Speaking of Faith (then On Being) years ago—a true game-changer for me personally. I'm forever indebted for the thinking I've been exposed to through this great program. This recognition confirms for me that there are wonderful things going in the world, and that On Being is doing extraordinary work in bringing it to the people.

Trent Gilliss's picture

What a heartening endorsement, Nelson. Thank you. Do you happen to remember what's the first conversation you heard?

Congratulations Krista! Well done!
Thank you for all you do.

Trent Gilliss's picture

You are most welcome, Kathy. It's an absolute pleasure to do this work -- and work alongside Krista!

Thank you so much for posting this--a well-deserved recognition of Krista's work on behalf of us all.

Trent Gilliss's picture

Here, here Gann!

Congratulations Krista,
From Speaking of Faith to On Being, please continue this great reflective and thought provoking work.

Bravi! Your thoughtful conversations and brave inquiry are inspiring. We are blessed to have such courageous sentient beings like the On Being team members amongst us! Your work encourages me to be a better human, to walk with beauty and in love. Congratulations on a well deserved honor!

congratulations krista, you are so very deserving of this honor. your work over the years has enriched my life in countless ways. thank you

I have been a regular listener to Krista since the beginning of Speaking of Faith, and felt like a good friend of mine was bing recognized!!
Congratulations to the entire thoughtful and hard working team, and thank you for the lovely work you do. It never fails to open new doors in my mind and heart and I am exceedingly grateful.