First Lady Michelle Obama, the honorary chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), will speak about the importance of after-school and out-of-school arts and humanities education by hosting the PCAH's National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards – the country's highest honor in this field.
The awards focus national attention on exemplary programs currently fostering the creative and intellectual development of America's youth through education, and practical experience in the arts and the humanities. On Monday, awards will be given to 12 successful programs across the country that reach underserved youth. In addition to the First Lady's and PCAH members' involvement, the ceremony will also include PCAH cultural agency partners: the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and will be complemented by select performances from awardees. This event will be live streamed starting at 2:30 PM ET at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award recipients include:
· African Culture & History through traditional dance and music (Omaha, NE)
African Cultural Connection (ACC) provides youth throughout the state of Nebraska with year-round residencies and workshops that focus on traditional African art forms. By engaging students in activities such as drumming, dancing, storytelling, jewelry making, and textile design, the program presents an in-depth perspective on the culture and history of Africa, particularly that of West Africa.
· Arts Education Program for Youth (Seattle, WA)
Arts Corps was founded in 2000 as a strategy to bring out-of-school arts and creative engagement to low-income communities. A multidisciplinary program, Arts Corps partners with a wide range of community organizations and agencies to bring after-school arts classes to 2,000 K-12th grade students every year, at over 30 sites throughout Seattle. Professional teaching artists are placed at partner sites to lead classes in dance, digital media, music, spoken word, theatre, and visual arts.
· AS220 Youth Studio (Providence, RI)
AS220 Youth is a free arts education program serving young people ages 14-21, with a special focus on those in the care and custody of the state. AS220 serves over 450 Rhode Island youth in three separate sites – the Rhode Island Training School (RITS), Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program (UCAP) – a nationally recognized Rhode Island public middle school dedicated to keeping at-risk kids in school, and AS220's downtown Providence studio. The program goal is to engage youth in a creative process that will lead to positive social, educational, and vocational outcomes.
· ICA Out-of-School Teen Programs (Boston, MA)
Out-of-school programs for teens at the ICA provide young people with the opportunity to engage with art, artists, and the creative process, while also developing confidence and transferable skills. Out-of-school programs for teens utilize the ICA's physical and artistic resources, including contemporary art and artists, to address a wide range of topics such as personal identity, social change, and innovation.
· Mariachi Master Apprentice Program (San Fernando, CA)
Mariachi Master Apprentice Program (MMAP) brings together Grammy award-winning mariachi music masters Mariachi Los Camperos, led by Natividad Cano, with primarily Mexican middle and high-school students in intensive instructional experiences that preserve the genre of mariachi music.
· Myth and the Hero (Copley, OH)
Myth and the Hero is a humanities-based program that supports the development of African-American adolescent males through the telling, discussion, and interpretation of mythology and fairy tales told to the beat of an African drum. The program offers weekly support groups that utilize the analysis of mythological stories and fairy tales to explore themes that are relevant to the lives of the participants, such as sacrifice, conflict resolution, perseverance, humility, and confidence
· New York City Urban Debate League (Bronx, NY)
The New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL) program is dedicated to giving all students the opportunity to become highly-skilled debaters. Since the program's inception, the NYCUDL has partnered with schools across New York City, particularly Title I public schools, to build successful debate teams. This network of over ten schools offers an array of workshops held after school, on Saturdays, and during the summer. Each workshop immerses the participants in a number of subjects including public speaking, research techniques, philosophy, public policy, civics, international affairs, law, and ethnic studies.