May 13, 2014

2014_05_10 Marina portrait[2684.9615] Marina_Ellis_Island_Medal_cropMEDAL_PHOTO_NECOMarina on red carpetMarina_Ellis_Island_MedalMarina w Evander HlyfieldMarina_Ellis_Island_MedalMarina w Elie Tahari2014_05_10 [2033.9269] Marina_Ellis_Island_MedalMarina w Nigel Lythgoe2014_05_10 [2047.9277] Marina_Ellis_Island_MedalMarina w West Point Band conductor

Marina with fellow medalists Evander Holyfield, Elie Tahari, Maria Bartiromo, Nigel Lythgoe and Joan Hornig.

New York, May 10, 2014

Marina Arsenijevic, internationally renowned, award-winning pianist and composer received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award presented by The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) to Americans who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity; all while maintaining the traditions of their ethnic heritage as they uphold the ideals and spirit of America.  The awards were presented on Saturday, May 10th on historic Ellis Island at an elegant ceremony that embodies the spirit of America in a celebration of patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity.

Ms. Arsenijevic was chosen for her outstanding achievements and humanitarian efforts in building bridges among diverse cultures and nations through her music. She weaves many ethnic melodies and rhythms into her compositions, promoting the universality of music and art as a device for peace and healing.  She has performed all over the world, including the White House. Marina’s Emmy nominated Public Television special “Marina at West Point: Unity Through Diversity” has been broadcast to more then 180 Million viewers with over 400 airings by PBS stations across the country. The concert was recorded live at West Point’s historic Eisenhower Hall and will continue to be broadcast through 2016.pianist and composer, star of the Emmy-nominated Public Television program, “Marina at West Point: Unity through Diversity” which has bee

Ms. Arsenijevic is one of 93 medalists and was chosen from among 7000 nominations. Other notable medalists were TV host, author and financial expert Maria Bartiromo, FOX hit reality series American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance creator and celebrity judge Nigel Lythgoe, Five Time Heavyweight Champion of the World Evander Holyfield, U.S. Representative Ed Royce, Fashion Designer Elie Tahari, Secretary of State Senior Advisor and Former United States Ambassador to Italy David Thorne, National Guard Bureau Gen. Frank J. Grass, USA and Jewelry Designer Philanthropist Joan Hornig. The Ceremony was followed by a Gala Dinner in the historic Great Hall. Emmy-winning WPIX-11 Senior Correspondent Marvin Scott and renowned entertainer Tom Dreesen were the Masters of Ceremony.

Ms. Arsenijevic joins a very impressive club of Medal of Honor recipients. Since the Medal was founded in 1986, they have honored such distinguished and diverse Americans including: six Presidents of the United States, Nobel Prize recipient Elie Wiesel, Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell, Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Walters, Mike Wallace, Quincy Jones, Mia Farrow, Bob Hope, Lee Iacocca, Renee Fleming and Joe Di Maggio – just to name a few – all who have distinguished themselves through their significant contributions to this country.  The Ellis Island Medal of Honor ranks among the nation’s most prestigious awards. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record.  As always, NECO remains dedicated to the maintenance and restoration of America’s greatest symbol of its immigrant history, Ellis Island.


Otto Coca Director of Media Communications
NECO – The National

Coalition of Organizations


Twitter: @neco_org



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photos by: Tak Kühlewind