Friday, November 6, 2009

Michelle Obama awards local dance company for work with juvenile detainees

Shira Greenberg (Left), Keshet Dance Company Founder and Artistic Director; Elianna Boswell (Center), Keshet Arts Education Student Representative; First Lady Michelle Obama, Honorary Chair of the President's Committee for the Arts and the Humanities.

Albuquerque's Keshet Dance Company is getting some national recognition for their work with juvenile offenders in New Mexico.

On Thursday, at a White House ceremony, First Lady Michelle Obama awarded the group the Coming Up Taller Award for its work with the YDDC, New Mexico's state juvenile detention facility.

"We are incredibly honored to receive this prestigious recognition from The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities," Shira Greenberg, Kesht's founder and artistic director said.

Greenberg traveled to the White house and was at the award ceremony yesterday.

"The power of the arts to change people's lives is something that we believe in whole-heartedly, and we strive to actuate these changes on a daily basis," Greenberg said. "This recognition brings new exposure to the work of Keshet so that our programs can serve more people and more lives can be positively affected in the coming years, building a stronger community one life at a time."

Outreach facilitators at YDDC teach daily dance classes to teach literacy skills, math skills and conflict resolution skills and help juveniles meet their high school curriculum requirements.

Keshet also incorporates a pre-release and post-release program to continue mentoring students while they transition out of the facility, providing a structured mentorship program through the parole and reintegration process.

Coming Up Taller is a national initiative that recognizes and supports outstanding out-of-school and after-school arts and humanities programs for children, especially those with great potential but who have limited outlets for creative expression.

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1 comment:

wanrey said...

Nice write up! This is a great organization doing great things for our community.