Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks attends The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles 23rd Annual Simply Shakespeare benefit. (Phil McCarten/Reuters / October 8, 2013)

Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Sting, singer Al Green and ballerina Patricia McBride have been selected to receive this year's Kennedy Center Honors.

The five artists will be celebrated Dec. 7 at the center's 37th gala, to be broadcast Dec. 30 on CBS. Attendees at the event, one of the annual highlights of Washington's social scene, are again expected to include President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, plus other notables from the worlds of politics and showbiz.

The ceremony will again be produced by George Stevens Jr. and Michael Stevens. Following the usual format, the benefit will cap a full weekend of celebrations to include a private dinner at the U.S. State Department hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry, and a private reception at the White House on the Sunday afternoon before the evening event.

Unveiling this year's honorees, Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein called Hanks one of "the greatest actors of any generation," and said Tomlin "continues to amaze us with her acting talent and quick wit." He saluted New York City Ballet principal McBride as "one of the world's greatest ballerinas," and praised the unique voices of Sting and Green.