Tallchief, Maria, National Medal of Arts, 1999
Mentoring of children and young adults
"I was very fortunate to collaborate with the most brilliant
choreographer, George Balanchine, who became my mentor in Ballet. I took
advantage of this great opportunity, and we worked together to build the
very successful New York City Ballet Company. My daughter...had the same
guidance in achieving excellence as a poet at Oxford. I wish comparable achievement for my beautiful six-month old granddaughter ... whatever her field of choice.
"It is my hope that in the 21st century, people with special skills
will recognize that if they mentor children and young adults, they will be
making an enormous contribution in assuring a better society."