On a drizzly Washington D.C. morning, about 100 students, parents, teachers, principals, and education professionals gathered at the Department of Education's Lyndon Baines Johnson Building to attend a ribbon cutting for the artwork that will hang there and at the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
The weather did not damper the spirits of those gathered--for the quality of the work on display, the thrill of meeting young artists from across the country, the excitement of hanging on such hallowed walls. Some of the attendees were visiting D.C. for the very first time; some were attending schools a cab ride away.
The 80 or so pieces were selected from the 2009 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold, Silver and American Visions Medal-winning works.
All of the speakers--Tony Miller, Deputy Secretary of Education; Kalpen Modi, Associate Director from the White House Office of Public Liaison; Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities; Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers; Wilmer Wilson, former Scholastic Art and Writing Portfolio Gold Award Winner; and Tony Award-winning playwright/musician Stew--spoke directly to the students and encouraged them to continue to trust in the value of creativity.
It was very uplifting, and--regardless of your relation to the students whose art was going on display--you were bound to leave encouraged to return to your pencils, pens, or paint.
The Department of Education, Lyndon Baines Johnson Building
Hyun Sue Kwon
President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
Ava Ambrose Tomasula Y Garcia
This is an extremely high honor, a testament to the importance of arts in American education. Congratulations!!!