The program, established in 2009, was one of 12 honorees — selected from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists — recognized for engaging youth in their community in the arts and the humanities. Teen Space aims to help youth ages 16 to 21 with academic and life skills, through mentoring and tutoring by trained library staff, according to an official release. It has helped significantly reducing high school drop-out rates.
First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the awards.
“Keep believing in yourselves. Keep reaching higher.” —The First Lady to students #ReachHigher
— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) November 10, 2014
Other awardees include:
- ¡City Arts! Community AfterSchool Program, Providence ¡City Arts for Youth!, Inc. in Providence, RI
- CPS Shakespeare!, Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Chicago, IL
- Delta Blues Museum Arts and Education Program in Clarksdale, MS
- everybody dance! after-school program, The Gabriella Foundation in Los Angeles, CA
- Project STEP, Inc., Intensive String Training Program for Black and Latino Young People in Boston, MA
- Job Training in the Arts Downtown Aurora Visual Arts in Aurora, CO
- Workshop Houston, Middle School Program in Houston, TX
- New Ballet Ensemble in Memphis, TN
- New Vic Usher Corps, The New Victory Theatre in New York, NY
- Publicolor, Inc., Continuum of Design-based Programs in New York, NY
- Teens Make History, Missouri History Museum in Saint Louis, MO
Each program will receive $10,000 and a year of communications and capacity-building support from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
“You can’t help but be moved by these kids, who show us the transformative power of the arts and humanities,” said Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), in a statement. “They are staying in school longer, getting better grades, graduating from high school and going on to college at significantly higher rates than their peers. And they’re building skills that will last them a lifetime.”
The awards are presented annually by the PCAH in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
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