First Lady Michelle Obama spoke about the importance of arts education yesterday at the Grammy Museum's Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon, emphatically declaring "we cannot be satisfied until every child has some exposure to the arts."
Noting six million American school children have no music or arts classes in the schools, Obama said: "You all have an abundance of riches here in Los Angeles, and yes, we do we have a pretty big platform at the White House. But let's not forget there are symphonies and theaters and museums, and with every exhibit and performance folks should be asking themselves, how can we get those kids in there? How can we get the artists and performers to connect with young people in those communities? In other words, every arts organization in the country should be embracing the mission of the Grammy Museum."
The event, held at Club Nokia in the downtown L.A. Live complex, honored Janelle Monae and teacher Sunshine Cavalluzzi for their efforts in teaching and mentoring young people. Calluzzi, a teacher at El Dorado High School in Placentia, California, uses music to teach subjects such as economics; Monae has been an active participant in the Grammy Museum's educational efforts.