In the world of Arts Education there are few awards that compare to the joy of working with young people, collaborating with passionate artists and like minded educators and inspiring dialogue that furthers the human conversation are a few others.
But this spring Dallas Theater Center became a finalist for one of those rare national recognitions. Project Discovery, Dallas Theater Center’s 27-year-old flagship education program, is one of 50 finalists out of more than 350 applicants for the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.
The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the Nation's highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people, particularly those from underserved communities. This award recognizes and supports excellence in programs that open new pathways to learning, self-discovery, and achievement.
Project Discovery brings diverse teens together from across North Texas, engages their minds and their bodies in the art of theater-making, and empowers them to discuss their opinions with peers and adults alike. Its impact is felt throughout the city of Dallas, within the arts and now woven in the city’s fabric.
“There is absolutely no question that my students are now theater fans, and will continue to attend college performances - maybe even work on them as crew or actors,” said Diana O’Connor, a teacher at Irma Rangel Young Women’s School. “I feel they will also always recognize the value of theater and support the funding of the arts through taxes and voting for the arts… Thank you to all the donors who make this possible - I think it's impossible to comprehend how far-reaching the effects of this program are for our students.”
Each year, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards recognize 12 outstanding programs in the United States, from a wide range of urban and rural settings. Recipients receive a $10,000 grant and the opportunity to visit the White House and accept the award from First Lady Michelle Obama.
The awards ceremony will be streamed live at NAHYP.org. Stay tuned this winter to see if Dallas Theater Center’s Project Discovery is one of the 12 programs that receives the award!