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Nov 02, 2011
On November 2, two Guild members, The Young People’s Chorus of New York City and Fleisher Art Memorial (Philadelphia, PA), were among twelve community based programs to receive the prestigious 2011 National Arts & Humanities Award. The award, formerly known as the Coming Up Taller award, is the signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) and is the highest honor awarded to such programs in the United States. It is presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
These twelve distinguished awardees were chosen from a pool of 471 nominees and 50 finalists. Honored among the 50 finalists were four Guild members: Arts Corps (Seattle, WA), Boston Children’s Chorus (Boston, MA), DreamYard Project, Inc. (Bronx, NY), and the Sphinx Organization (Detroit, MI). The awardees were recognized for their outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression, and achievement outside of the regular school day. Each of the awardees will receive $10,000 and a year of communications and capacity building support in recognition of their accomplishments.
At the White House ceremony on Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the award to students from each program. The First Lady noted the impact of arts in education in the following statement, “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…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.”
Rachel Goslins, executive director of the PCAH, added, “By transforming lives and communities, these programs represent an important investment in our future…It is our hope that by recognizing the best of the best in this field, we will increase awareness of their tremendous power and impact, and give them the opportunity to serve more young people and attract more sustainable support.”
In attendance was Guild executive director Jonathan Herman, Young People’s Chorus founder Francisco J. Nunez, and Fleisher executive director and Guild trustee Matthew Braun. Twelve members of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City concluded the ceremony with a performance of Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the A Train.”
Pictured Above: Young People's Chorus of New York City (left) and Fleisher Art Memorial (right) recieve their awards from First Lady Michelle Obama.
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