WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CityDance, a D.C. non-profit dance organization, was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Programming Award (NAHYP) for its after-school DREAM program today at the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama and the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities presented the award to CityDance DREAM Director Kelli Quinn and DREAM student Valeria Cruz.
Each year the NAHYP award recognizes the nation's leading after-school programs for their use of arts and the humanities to increase academic achievement, graduation rates, and college enrollment. This year CityDance was among the 12 honorees selected from a pool of more than 285 nominations across the country, and the only organization hailing from the nation's capital.
"The evidence is crystal clear. We know what arts means to kids. Kids who get involved in the arts or humanities have higher grades. They have higher graduation rates. They have higher college enrollment rates," said Mrs. Obama at today's ceremony.
CityDance DREAM is an after-school program that provides dance classes and performance opportunities, mentoring, and tutoring to students in Washington, D.C.'s most underserved communities. CityDance DREAM uses dance as a pathway for youth to graduate high school and discover and pursue their full potential.
"One out of three high school seniors in our nation's capital did not graduate last year. CityDance DREAM is embarking on a bold undertaking to address the dropout issue in the communities that we serve. We have witnessed the significant impact of our programs on our student's lives. It is a huge honor for us to be recognized by the First Lady and the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities," said CityDance Executive Director Alexe Nowakowski.
CityDance was also selected by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to anchor a new arts center in downtown D.C., The DREAM Center for Dance, which will provide a home for CityDance's DREAM participants. "I have had the opportunity to see the CityDance DREAM program in action and have personally witnessed the impact their programs have on our young people's lives. DREAM's longstanding commitment to our youth, especially those from the District's most challenged neighborhoods, makes them a cultural treasure for our city," said Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Scheduled to open in 2018, The DREAM Center for Dance will be equipped with state-of-the-art dance studios, a black box theater and academic suites. With the use of these new facilities, DREAM programming will expand to triple the number of students served, as well as offer intensive dance training and integrated academic, college preparatory and family services. CityDance will be kicking off the DREAMbuilders campaign to solicit funding to support these efforts.
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Founded in 1996, CityDance is a Washington, D.C non-profit dance organization as an arts and education leader. With its mission to transform lives and communities through dance, CityDance OnStage produces and presents world-class dance at leading D.C. venues; CityDance School & Conservatory trains young dancers for professional careers; and CityDance DREAM provides free after-school programs to hundreds of D.C. youth each week and free performances to thousands of students each year.
CityDance DREAM is an after-school program that provides dance classes and performance opportunities; mentoring and tutoring to students from D.C.'s most underserved communities. DREAM's mission is to use dance as a pathway for youth to graduate high-school and discover and pursue their full potential. Established in 2005, the DREAM program serves youth in grades three to twelve at public schools and community sites across the nation's capital. DREAM is the recipient of the 2015 President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award and the 2010 D.C. Mayor's Arts Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education. In 2018, the DREAM program will anchor a new arts center in downtown D.C., The DREAM Center for Dance.
About the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards
The National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards is an initiative of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). The President's Committee partners with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to administer the program.