National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards

Uploaded by whitehouse on 20.10.2010

The First Lady: Hello and welcome to the White House.
You can be excited, yes!
I know when young people come, it's always like, can I clap,
can I laugh, can I --
-- yes!
Yes, you can, you can breathe.
It is such a pleasure to be here today to celebrate the winners
of this year's National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.
I want to start by thanking all the Members of the President's
Committee on the Arts and Humanities who are here with us
today, especially our co-chairs, Margo Lion and George Stevens,
who accompanied me in.
And finally, I want to thank all the teachers,
all the administrators, the directors,
the artists who keep these programs going and who keep
them running each and every day.
We're just very grateful to everything that you all have
been doing, because I know that these are tough times
for a lot of folks.
Budgets are being squeezed.
Resources are being cut.
And for many of you, the hours are longer and unfortunately the
paychecks are smaller than they used to be.
But against all the odds, you've kept going.
You've kept teaching and mentoring and innovating
because you know, like all of us know, that these programs,
programs like yours, can help our young people expand their
imaginations and tap into their creativity.
You've seen how the arts and humanities can broaden their
horizons and help them discover a talent or a mission or a sense
of purpose that they never knew they had.
And that's exactly what's happening in Hartford,
Connecticut, where students are doing workshops with world-class
jazz musicians and artists.
In Tampa, middle school girls are creating original shows
based on their own stories and performing them in front of
their friends and family.
In San Francisco, students are developing their own voices
alongside professional writers.
And right here in Washington, D.C., kids from low-income
neighborhoods are using debate and hands-on activities to learn
about some of the history's great leaders.
These are experiences that will stick with our young people for
the rest of their lives.
But the real beauty is that you're doing more than just
teaching these young people how to become better artists
or better musicians.
You're also connecting them with mentors and college counselors.
You're helping them become better people.
And you're giving them skills that will help make their
futures that much brighter.
When a student writes a play, she's not just learning how
to put lines on a page.
She's boosting her language skills,
becoming a better public speaker,
gaining a sense of pride in her ability to set a
goal and to reach it.
When students are paired up with mentors,
it's about more than just keeping their grades up or
strengthening their college applications.
It's about connecting them with someone who's been where they've
been, who's willing to take a genuine interest in their
future, and who can show them what it takes to succeed in the
studio, in the classroom, and in life.
And when a group of young people comes together to put on a show
or create a piece of artwork, it's not just about getting
recognition for the work they've created.
It's about learning what it means to share a gift with
others, and give back to the people who've made a difference
in their own lives.
And that's why, earlier this year,
I was so proud to join some of last year's recipients of this
award to help paint a mural and plant a garden at a community
center right here in D.C. And I know that many of you are also
reaching out in that same way, donating artwork,
tutoring in public schools, and holding concerts for
your neighborhoods.
Community MusicWorks in Providence, Rhode Island,
even pipes the sound from their rehearsals and string
quartet performances out onto the sidewalk,
filling the streets with classical music as kids
walk to school each day.
In the end, that's really what all this work is about.
It is about helping our young people grow and inspiring them
to give back.
It's about taking an interest in them,
and challenging them to dream a little bigger and
reach a little higher.
That's what Roseanne Kadis did, along with Juliet Myers.
She co-founded FACT after-school programs in New Mexico to introduce
children and teens to the power of art.
When FACT first started, it was run out of the back of
a station wagon.
But that didn't matter.
As Roseanne said, "It wasn't" -- these are her words --
"it wasn't just about the result, making art.
It was, 'Did it bring you joy?
Did you learn something?
Did you master a skill?'
And together, they're bringing so much joy to so many.
You're showing our students that each of them has something
valuable to contribute to this life.
And you're opening their eyes to a world of possibility that
awaits them -- one work of art, one relationship,
one lifetime at a time.
So thank you for everything that you are all doing.
We are just incredibly proud, incredibly honored to have
you all here.
And I promise we will do our part, everything we can do,
on the President's committee, to support the work that you are
doing and continue to make sure that this can happen all the
time everywhere all over the country.
We're very proud of you all.
And with that, I'd like to introduce to you the co-chair
of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities,
my dear friend and partner in crime in many ways, Margo Lion.
Come on up, Margo, and thank you.
Margo Lions: Well, thank you, Michelle, First Lady.
I just first have to say, we have to give this woman
an incredible applause.
She is such an inspiration.
On behalf of my co-chair George Stevens, Jr.,
and our vice chair Mary Schmidt Campbell and all of
the members of the President's committee on the arts and
humanities, we are all so delighted and grateful to
you for opening the White House to us today.
And hosting us and our awardees for this very important ceremony
where we bestow the Nation's highest honors to these remarkable
-- these remarkable groups and projects for the arts and humanities.
After school programs.
This year we have 15 honorees chosen from
hundreds of nominations.
They are changing the lives of young people across America.
Their programs engaging a diverse population of students
excite the imagination, encourage collaboration,
teach the value of discipline and finally help students
achieve real measurable academic success.
Today's honorees also provide safe and creative havens for
children during some of their most vulnerable hours,
after school, weekends and evenings.
And because there are no borders when it comes to the powers of
the arts, and humanities, to enrich and transform a young
person's life, we are especially happy today to honor this year's
international spotlight award winning music program,
the Jean-Baptiste de La Salle -- I hope I pronounced that right
-- Music School from Haiti.
Let me take a moment now to thank our key partners,
the National Endowment for the Arts,
the National Endowment for the Humanities,
The Institute of Museum and Library Sciences,
and all of our private supporters and our long
time cooperative partner, the National Assembly of
States Art Agencies.
Without all of you, these awards today would not be possible.
So thank you so much.
Now, I am sure that many of you here have noticed and remarked
to each other that our arts and humanities awards this year have
a new name.
For the last twelve years they were known as the Coming Up
Taller Awards and were the gold standard of achievement
in the field.
When the President's committee had the privilege of taking over
its stewardship, we thought that even venerable programs like
this one might benefit from a little retooling
after more than a decade.
So over the past year in collaboration with the White
House and our agency partners, we have taken a good look at
what is working best and how we could make
that program even better.
We also poled the last twelve years of awardees and finalists
to get their thoughts on the subject.
And what we came up were some rather simple but fundamental
changes that we think will enhance the award.
Our new name, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Programs
Award is one that we feel accurately reflects the
substance of the award as well as its national prestige.
We have our very first dedicated website which will feature
profiles of honorees.
Regular updates, and of course a blog.
As well as information about federal funding programs,
tool kits and recent research in arts education.
And, finally, we have built up the annual awardee conference
introducing winners to new federal funders,
expanded communication training and social network models that
will strengthen their organizations as a whole.
It is important to note here that our support,
the President's committee's support does not end with
today's ceremony.
Over the next year, we will make ourselves available to visit our
awardees in their local communities,
to attned events celebrating the award and aid them in connecting
with new participants and supporters.
We -- with all that you do for our young people,
we want to make sure that you have the very best support and
recognition possible to help you all reach your goals.
Finally in closing I want to mention in our poll of last
awardees of all the benefits of receiving this award,
the financial grant, the national press,
the summer conference, the one thing that kept coming up that
was consistently cited as the most life changing by both the
program directors and the kids who came here with them,
was the opportunity to be here in this building in the White
House, with the First Lady of the United States.
And all of their peers.
So Mrs. Obama, thank you so much again for making this
day special for them.
And for all of us.
We are so grateful.
And with that, I am delighted to invite to the stage,
Mariana Pavon Sanchez, a young participant.
Where are you?
Young participant from one of this year's?
Winning the -- winning programs the young playwright's theater,
and as a theater producer, I am particular happy about that.
Right here in Washington, D.C.
Mariana Sanchez: Hello. My name is Mariana Pavon Sanchez,
and I am an 11th grade student with the Young Playwrights'
Theater or YPT.
Just over a year ago I began studying with YPT as part of
my English as a second language class.
YPT helped me to know that I can express myself through
writing and that what I have to say matters.
I wasn't sure I could do it at first,
but then I realized I could write a play about my own life.
So I wrote a play called Mariana's Wish.
It is about my mother and how much I miss her.
The YPT teacher artist helped me find my inspiration.
Shape my ideas on the page and revise my play until it
was exactly what I wanted to say.
I was so excited when my play was chosen to
be produced in YPT festival.
Seeing the play performed by professional actors was
an amazing experience.
But seeing and hearing the audience reactions to my
story was even better.
They laughed and cried.
And I realized the power of my words.
My advice to other students: don't be afraid to express
yourself through writing even if it is something small.
It is important.
I was a very shy student, afraid to speak out.
And here I am.
(laughter and applause)
Addressing the First Lady of the United States,
and it is all thanks to Young Playwrights' Theater,
to the arts, and the humanities, and the power of my own ideas.
Now, I will like to read you the beginning of my play,
Mariana's Wish.
It is about missing my mother in another country and my father
who wanted me to go see her.
I start the play from my point of view angry because I don't
understand why she won't let me go.
But then I also wrote from his point of view,
he is just worried about me.
At the end of the play, we understand each other and
he lets me go.
This is the beginning.
I came to this country last year.
First I wanted to come to learn English.
My Mommy didn't come with me because her Visa expired in 2007
and she and my grandfather are both sick so she can't travel.
Now, I want to go back to Nicaragua to visit because
I miss my Mommy.
I miss talking to her every night.
I want to taste her (inaudible) that she cooks really well.
We used to go outside to (speaking in Spanish)
where we spent hours walking and talking.
We talk about boys.
She also gave me advice about how I have to act with them.
Another thing that I miss is when we talk about what I want
to do for my future.
I want to do those things with me Mommy again.
I want to spend Christmas with me Mommy with me hermano
with me familia y mis amigos.
They are the most important people in my life.
I have asked my dad three times before if I can go to Nicaragua.
But he doesn't really take me seriously.
So this morning before he leaves for work,
I will talk to him and he will have to listen.
Thank you so much.
Speaker: Ladies and gentlemen, the presentation of the 2010
National Arts And Humanities Youth Program Awards.
Speaker: Madame First Lady, thank you for the inspiring model
you have provided America.
A National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is presented
to Project ALERTA in Boston, Massachusetts.
Launched by university of Massachusetts Boston in 1988,
Project ALERTA engages 3rd through 5th grade Latino and ESL
students in year round project based activities in the arts
and the humanities.
During the 2009 summer program alone 77 percent of the ALERTA
students increased their reading scores on practice
State standardized tests.
The next award goes to the Scripps College Academy in
Claremont, California.
Scripps College readiness summer program introduces 45 high
achieving high school students from underserved communities in
the Los Angeles area to text, research and writing assignments
in the humanities.
Hundred percent of the program participants are
accepted into College.
And over 90 percent are the first in their families
to do so.
The after school program; Mentors of Minorities and Education, Inc.,
in Washington D.C., receives the next National Arts and
Humanities Youth Program Award.
Through it's great person series the MOMIE Program,
strengthens core academics areas for low income children of color
pre-K through elementary school.
One hundred percent of its participants advance to the next
grade level in the 2008 and 2009 school years.
Speaker: Libraries, museums, zoos, and gardens are all featured in the
next award to the Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program
heart of Brooklyn Cultural Institution in Brooklyn,
New York.
Each year, five hundred children ages 7 to 12 engage in hands on
thematically linked and fun experiences provided by a
consortium of cultural institutions.
The Botanical Garden, Children's Museum, Public Library,
Prospect Park and zoo.
The activities boost cognitive and relational skills outcome,
particularly in children from under served neighborhoods.
The next National Arts And Humanities Youth Program Award
goes to San Francisco writers Core,
the friends and foundation of the San Francisco Public
Library, San Francisco Arts Commission.
For 15 years, professional writers have worked with
young people in libraries, after school programs,
immigrant emerging centers, and juvenile hall facilities
to develop language arts proficiency and encourage
individual voices.
90 percent of the participants show measurable improvement in
basic and advanced literacy skills.
Youth Can.
The Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle,
Washington receives the next award.
At this community focus museum, Youth Can,
empowers Asian Pacific American teens,
to explore their heritage and creativity by developing museum
programs for their peers.
Having built skills in public speaking, management,
and design over the course of the program,
one hundred percent of the participants have
gone on to college.
Speaker: The next National Arts and Humanities Youth Program
Award goes to the Center for Community Arts Partnerships,
Community Schools Initiative, Columbia College, Chicago.
Since 1998, CCAP has been a national model for College
community school partnerships.
Working deeply in six schools throughout the city to provide
intensive after school visual and performing arts programs
that also include academic enrichment, social services,
and parent engagement.
The River's Edge Arts Project in Woonsocket,
Rhode Island is presented with the next award.
Engaging at risk teens in artistic expression,
self discipline, and community service,
River's Edge employs artist's mentors that teach skills and
guide youth participants who also earn stipends for
their art work.
100 percent of participating youth graduate high school
and are accepted at Colleges and Art schools.
Urban Voices Global Action Project in New York,
New York receives the next National Arts and Humanities
Youth Program Award.
Directly reaching over one hundred youth ages 14 through
21, participants create videos, web based projects and
multimedia projects on subjects relevant to their lives.
The Urban Voices' curriculum is nationally recognized for
its best practices in youth development,
media Arts training and civic engagement.
Speaker: I am pleased to present the next National Arts and Humanities
Youth Program Award to FACT, after school programs that
the First Lady mentioned in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Throughout Northern New Mexico the FACT program reaches 650
underserved youth ages 5 to 21 at low income public elementary
schools, the Santa Fe Indian School,
and youth detention and homeless centers.
FACT's high quality visual arts programs encourage critical and
creative thinking, improve literacy and
build self confidence.
The next award goes to New Directions Youth Art,
City Of Las Vegas, Office Of Cultural Affairs.
Since 2008, 271 adjudicated and at risk youth have completed a
program of performing and visual arts with professional artists
developing artistic talents and learning team building.
Nearly all have shown demonstrable, positive,
behavioral development as a result of this program.
It is a pleasure to present the next award to the after school
playwrighting program, Young Playwrights' Theater, Inc.
in Washington, D.C.
For 15 years this program has provided theater workshops to
primarily Latino and African American students teaching
them to express themselves through the art of playwrighting.
By the end of the program, 85 percent of the students
demonstrated a much stronger level of language skills and
reading comprehension.
Speaker: To the community music works, Providence, Rhode Island,
Senator Reed, this program, Providence String Quartet,
provides music education, mentoring and public
performance to its community.
The quartet rehearses in neighborhood,
store front studio and frequently broadcasts it's
rehearsals out on to the street for passersby.
Particularly children to attend the schools on both
ends of the street.
More than a hundred children have participated free of
charge for up to ten years in the educational program.
And all have enrolled in college.
The Girls Stories, Theater Project and Workshops,
Power Stories Theater, Inc.
in Tampa, Florida, beginning with a six week summer workshop,
this year round program empowers middle school girls to prepare
original theater pieces featuring their own stories.
In recent evaluation, 97 percent of the participants improved
their communications and performance skills.
The last award, the last award is presented to Transforming The
Lives Of At Risk Youth, Training in the Arts and Culture of the
African Diaspora, Artists Collective, Inc., Hartford,
Connecticut, who also won the prize for the longest name of
any institution; founded by NEA Jazz Masters,
saxophonist Jackie McLean.
The artist's collective has provided year round classes in
dance, music, drama, visual arts and martial arts.
For the last 40 years to more than a hundred students,
95 percent of the participating students go on to attend college
and art and music schools.
Mary Schmidt Campbell: Good morning.
I am Mary Schmidt Campbell, vice chair of the President's
committee on the arts and humanities.
I am honored to present our International Spotlight Award.
I would like to invite our distinguished guest,
Louis Harold Joseph, Haitian Ambassador to
the United States to join in the presentation of this award.
This year's earthquake in Haiti completely devastated many of
the country's most important cultural
landmarks and institutions.
Thanks to the expertise of our colleagues at the Smithsonian
institution, and with support from the President's committee,
the Haitian Cultural Recovery Project was able to work in
support of the government of Haiti to salvage and secure
important cultural artifacts buried in the rubble,
and badly damaged.
During the summer, members of the President's committee on
the arts and humanities joined a delegation to port of prince
lead by our colleagues at the Smithsonian.
What was clear to all of us on that trip,
was that even amidst the devastation,
the vitality of Haiti's cultural heritage was very much alive.
On the streets of Port Of Prince we saw evidence of the work of
artisans and musicians who continued traditions that
had become vital to world culture.
We witnessed the resilience of a youth orchestra that rehearsed
beautifully while overlooking the debris and rubble that
surrounded them.
First Lady Preval hosted a group of young dancers who despite
having to live in tented camps that served as temporary homes
after the Earthquake left them homeless,
treated us to a spirited performance.
They, the young people, with all their resilience and energy,
with all of their talents and their gifts represent the
promise and future of Haiti.
And so in honor of these talented youth the future of
Haiti, we are pleased to present the International Spotlight
Award to the Jean-Baptiste de La Salle Music School based in
Jacmel, Haiti.
Established in 1998, the Jean-Baptiste de La Salle
Music School provides instruments, rehearsal space,
and instructions in a variety of string, wind,
brass and percussion instruments to hundreds of youth in and
around Jacmel.
Students at the school, most from poor families have the
opportunity to participate in various marching bands
and orchestras, a big band and a choir.
Although the school's building and instruments were damaged
by the Earthquake in January, the resilient faculty resumed
string lessons and band rehearsals in February.
And by the end of August, the school completed a successful,
intensive, summer camp session which included volunteer
teachers from the United States, France and Canada.
We commend you on these heroic efforts and congratulate you on
the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program International
Spotlight Award.
George Stevens: In the last year or so, on this stage,
the Obamas have had Paul McCartney, Audrey McDonald,
Joshua Bell, Stevie Wonder.
Today we welcome one of this year's award winning groups,
welcome the members of the Artists Collective Youth
Jazz Orchestra with Dig by Jackie McLean.
♪♪ (music playing) ♪♪
The First Lady: Who would know?
All of that?
This is why we have to do this.
You never know the hidden passion that is in kids
and you guys are awesome.
We are so proud of you.
We are so proud of all of you.
Thank you for the work that you are doing, as well as
keep it going and we are behind you.
We are going to keep it going.
So with that, you all have a wonderful afternoon.
And we'll see you next year.