The Academy's membership of 250 is divided into departments of Art, Literature, and Music. The Art Department includes visual artists and architects; the Literature Department includes playwrights, poets, and writers of fiction and non-fiction; the Music Department includes composers from several genres. Only Academicians may nominate and elect new members.
Foreign Honorary Members
The Academy created a foreign honorary membership in 1929 to strengthen cultural ties with other countries. It now elects 75 distinguished writers, composers, painters, sculptors, and architects from foreign countries to become Honorary Members. They have all the rights and privileges of membership except the right to vote.
American Honorary Members
In 1983, the Academy established a category of membership to include ten Americans of great distinction in fields that fell outside the Academy's Departments of Art, Literature, and Music. These included filmmaking, publishing, choreography, and, until recently, photography, which is now recognized in the Art Department. American Honorary Members have all the rights and privileges of membership except the right to vote.