Mrs. Obama honors 13 youth arts programs ACTE II of New York, perform during the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Mrs. Obama honors 13 youth arts programs
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Calling a group of artistic youth the "next generation of fabulous," Michelle Obama presented national arts and humanities awards to 12 after-school programs. They were chosen from across the country and one international program from Honduras.
 
Honorees included a musical theater program. It was co-created by comedian Rosie O'Donnell. The program serves low-income students in New York City.
 
The first lady presented the awards to recognize the nation's best youth programs that use arts and humanities to develop skills and increase academic success. She honored programs that teach ceramics, dance, music, writing, science and more. Each of the U.S. programs will receive $10,000.
 
The annual White House ceremony included a live performance from the winning program, A Commitment to Excellence, or ACTE II. The New York group performed a song and dance medley. It included, "I Got Rhythm," "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," and "Empire State of Mind."
 
"Wow...that wasn't singing. That was 'sanging,'" Mrs. Obama quipped, referring to the group.  She predicted that it is destined for Broadway.
 
Mrs. Obama urged continued funding and support for arts and humanities programs. She said the programs also teach students problem solving, teamwork and discipline.
 
"There are millions of kids like these with talent all over the place. And it's hidden and it's untapped and that's why these programs are so important," Mrs. Obama said. "We wouldn't know that all this existed without any of these programs. And that would be a shame."
 
The 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards are hosted by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. It is in partnership with three national cultural agencies.
 
The 13 programs recognized with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award during the White House ceremony are:
 

  • A Commitment to Excellence (ACTE II), New York.
  • Action Arts and Science Program, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Art High, Pasadena, Calif.
  • CityDance DREAM Program, Washington.
  • Spy Hop Productions, Salt Lake City.
  • Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee.
  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Inc., New Orleans.
  • VSA Indiana, Inc., Indianapolis.
  • The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Deep Center, Inc., Savannah, Ga.
  • The Telling Room, Portland, Maine.
  • Caldera, Portland, Oregon.
  • Organization for Youth Empowerment (OYE), El Progreso, Honduras.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are the arts important for young people?
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COMMENTS (54)
  • loganc-bru
    11/23/2015 - 01:58 p.m.

    According to the article,"Mrs. Obama honors 13 youth art programs."The arts are important for young people. In paragraph 7 Mrs. Obama said,"there are millions of kids like these with talent all over the place. And it's hidden and its untapped and that's why these programs are so important."The 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards are hosted by the Presidents Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Finally, the arts are important for young people, because Mrs. Obama predicted that the things performed were so good that they were destined for broadway.

  • shanial-wes
    11/23/2015 - 02:44 p.m.

    Arts are important for young people because there are millions of kids like these with talent all over the place.

  • dremonieb-wes
    11/24/2015 - 09:09 a.m.

    I liked this article. I think arts are important to young people because it gives them a passion to do something. I think that putting your mind to something will really help you achieve your goal. When you are in the running for getting a scholarship from the first lady that's shows a lot of character and responsibility. That's reason why I like this article.

  • tamyaf-wes
    11/24/2015 - 09:12 a.m.

    arts are important for young people because there alots of people with talent

  • jackt-ver
    11/24/2015 - 01:36 p.m.

    I'm not trying to say that this is something that can be ignored, but important stuff is ignored. Things that are too important to not have discussed now, it really makes no sense. We should have some sort of discussion about what really needs to be focused on like isis.

  • annabel1226-yyca
    11/24/2015 - 04:57 p.m.

    Wow, 10,000 dollars are a lot of money. I think arts are important because there are millions of kids like these talent all over the place. I wish I could have drawn well in the art contest and get 10,000 dollars like those kids. I hope one day I could get a lot of money by winning something. A lot of kids most be lucky to have a lot of talents so they could moneys for their parents. I hope that all the people in the world could earn money from their talents.

  • jadaj-
    11/25/2015 - 08:40 a.m.

    The arts are important for young people because the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

  • owenh-ver
    11/25/2015 - 01:10 p.m.

    this is cool and I think that it is great that miss Obama does stuff for the kids

  • emilys-ver
    12/01/2015 - 10:02 a.m.

    I think it is really cool that they are recognizing youths my age.There are so many successful artists here at my school.
    Mrs.Obama is looking at talent that isn't always obvious and I respect her for that.

  • samanthas-1-ste
    12/01/2015 - 01:28 p.m.

    The arts can motivate kids. Even a simple song can encourage a child to do something important.

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