Arts and Culture

Secret no more: PlatteForum receives award from Michelle Obama in Washington, D.C.

The cat's now out of the bag: Earlier today, PlatteForum founder and artistic director Judy Anderson, education director Meagan Terry and nineteen-year-old student representative Salvador Flores-Martinez were honored at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama, when they were handed their 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, one of twelve such awards given this year. Narrowed down from nearly 500 nominated youth programs and 38 finalists across the country, PlatteForum's ArtLab program, which pairs at-risk youth with artist mentors, will receive a $10,000 prize to support its work

Here's what Flores-Martinez had to say about PlatteForum's life-changing properties:

Without PlatteForum, I know I would be in a dead-end job, on the street slanging drugs. I know it sounds rough, but it's the straight-up truth. Having a chance to represent my peers in accepting this award from the First Lady of the United States in the White House is an experience I'll never forget. It showed me that a program like ArtLab that can change kids' lives is recognized and valued.

Here, here. And woo hoo! Congrats, PlatteForum! Check back tomorrow for photos from the ceremony.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd