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 selected 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 and 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 achievement. 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, which she said also teaches 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, 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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Why are the arts important for young people?
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COMMENTS (5)
  • zackd-ver
    11/25/2015 - 12:20 a.m.

    It's glad to see that the government is paying attention to the small groups out there that are just doing what they want to on their own with little to no help, not that they wouldn't appreciate the help but it's just more or so a boost to the groups financially.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    11/30/2015 - 09:20 p.m.

    I think that it is a good idea for Michelle Obama to have decided to present national arts and humanities awards to 12 after-school programs. I think so because this can allow people to recognize their skills. Not only that but the hidden skills inside kids could be uncovered. Therefore, having this kind of idea, could have encouraged other kids to uncover their own skill.

  • samanthao-ver
    12/04/2015 - 10:14 a.m.

    I think it is good that she is honoring them but another thing that I don't like is that she isn't honoring more than just the art programs.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    12/10/2015 - 09:35 p.m.

    I think that the children who are performing their talents are doing a good job. The first lady, Michelle Obama will present awards to several of the best programs for arts and humanities. She honored programs that teach ceramics, dance, music, writing, science and more. These programs and performances teaches students problem solving, teamwork and discipline. It benefits the students a lot in many different ways. There are many kids with a lot of talent. Some of the kid's talents are hidden but they need to be uncovered.

  • taylorl-3-bar
    1/17/2016 - 12:53 p.m.

    It's glad to see that the government is paying attention to small groups out there that are just doing what they want on their own their own with little to no help, not that they wouldn't appreciate the help but it's just more so a boost to the groups financially.

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