First Lady Michelle Obama Honors New Directions Youth Arts Program
Local Program One Of 15 Nationwide Recognized For Positive Youth Outcomes Through Engagement In The Arts And Humanities
The city of Las Vegas' New Directions Youth Arts Program was recognized with a prestigious national award by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
Chosen from a pool of more than 400 nominations and 50 finalists, New Directions was one of 15 after-school and out-of-school programs across the country to receive the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (formerly, the Coming Up Taller Award), the highest honor such programs can receive in the United States
New Directions was recognized by Mrs. Obama for using engagement in the arts and the humanities to create positive choices while teaching life skills such as conflict resolution, team building, the ability to develop strong positive relations with peers and building self-esteem and confidence.
The foundation of the program is to offer a visual language that effects the embodiment of life's positive choices. Over the past 13 years, the program has engaged more than 4,450 young people in creative movement, theatre, writing, visual arts, percussion, pottery and social circus workshops.
Accepting the award from Mrs. Obama on behalf of New Directions YouthArts was Trevon Cacha Barnes, a 16-year-old participant in the program and member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, who was accompanied to the White House by Patricia L. Harris, cultural administrator for the city of Las Vegas.