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For Immediate Release: November 22, 2013
Media Contact: Marketing and Communication Department


Investigating Where We Live to be recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama

Investigating Where We Live alumnus Jasmine Marr and Museum teen programs manager Andrew Costanzo accept the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from Michelle Obama. Photo by Ralph Alswang.

First Lady Michelle Obama
Andrew Costanzo, teen programs manager, National Building Museum
Jasmine Marr, Investigating Where We Live alumnus

First Lady Michelle Obama will present the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award to Investigating Where We Live, a teen program at the National Building Museum, which will be recognized for its effectiveness in developing learning and life skills in young people by engaging them in the arts and humanities.

Chosen from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists, Investigating Where We Live is one of only 12 after-school and out-of-school programs across the country to receive the award, which is the highest honor such programs can receive in the United States. The awards are administered by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

“Through these programs, young people are discovering their creative voices, developing a stronger sense of who they are as individuals, and gaining a deeper understanding of the world around them,” wrote Mrs. Obama in the program for the award ceremony. “And, as young people navigate today’s challenges, the programs we are honoring offer safe harbors that cultivate enthusiasm for learning, support academic achievement, and promote college readiness.”

Created by the National Building Museum in 1996, Investigating Where We Live brings together middle school and high school students from across the D.C. metropolitan area. The program provides them with a forum where they can express their views of Washington, D.C. Participants learn to use photography, creative writing, and exhibition design as a means of understanding D.C. and describing how the city’s buildings, neighborhoods, and culture change over time. As the culmination of the program, participants plan, design, and install a museum exhibition that features their insights and work.

Mrs. Obama will present the award to the Museum in a ceremony to be broadcast live via streaming video from the East Room of the White House.

“This award is a tremendous honor for our teen programs,” said National Building Museum executive director Chase W. Rynd. “It highlights the importance of engaging young people in exploring and shaping our growing cities.”

Join us in celebrating and ensuring the future of Investigating Where We Live.

Friday, November 22, 2013
2 pm est

The White House, Washington, D.C.
Available via live streaming video at: www.whitehouse.gov/live

Studies have shown that low-income youth engaged in arts programs are more likely to stay in school, to get good grades, to graduate, and to enroll in college, thereby addressing several critical challenges confronting our youth and our community.

Images with caption and credit are available here.

The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, online content, and publications, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit www.nbm.org. Connect with us on Twitter: @BuildingMuseum and Facebook.

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