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First Lady Michelle Obama Honors Youth in the Arts

First Lady Michelle Obama honors recipients of the President's Council on Arts and Humanities Youth Award.

Watch First Lady Michelle Obama's full remarks here

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama honored organizations from across the country that are committed to providing enriching arts and humanities programs for young people. These organizations, recipients of the President’s Council on Arts and the Humanities Youth Award, work both in and out of schools to encourage young people to experience every facet of the arts, from dance and theater to media arts and music composition.  

Groups being honored include:

  • An art center in South Philidelphia that provides free art classes to 2,000 students a year, many of them immigrants
  • A summer workshop in Seattle that teaches students about Shakespeare
  • A 10-day, five-state “moving classroom experience” that takes students along the path of the Civil Rights in the southern United States

Mrs. Obama told award recipients they weren’t “just teaching these young people about painting or acting or singing" in providing these opportunites. "You’re teaching them about hard work and discipline and teamwork.  You’re teaching them how to manage their time…how to set goals, and, more importantly, how to achieve those goals.”

Mrs. Obama also spoke about the importance of continuing these enrichment programs in difficult economic times because the payoff is huge for students and society alike.

And you know that for every young life you transform, there is a tremendous ripple effect...All of you working on these programs, you are impact multipliers. You are inspiration multipliers.  And that is the power that you have, that you hold.  And it is a truly precious power.  And, today, I want to honor you all.  

Watch video from last year's awards here.