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**J . s* v
fOR THE ARTS
The Coining Up Taller Awards are possible because of the generous support of both public and
private-sector patrons. The following agencies, companies, corporations, organizations and
individuals provided contributions and in-kind support for the awards, this commemorative
publication, and related activities.
Anncox Foundation, Inc.
Beth Singer Design
The Green Family
Institute for Civil Society
Istros Media Corporation
for the Arts
Podesta Associates, Inc.
The Rodgers Family
The Rodgers and
Universal Studios, Inc.
Kristen Schmeelcke of
Holland and Knighs LLP
Walter H. Shorenstein
Sony Online Entertainment
Whitmore Print and
Background: Gallery 37
artists paint a bus for The
Chicago Transit Authority.
Bottom Right: 14-year old
Samnang Hor leads dancers
in a performance of
"The Butterfly Dance,"
Ankor Dance Troupe.
Photographer: Bill Bolton.
Editors: Laura Longley,
Judith Humphreys Weitz
Beth Singer Design
Printing: Whitmore Print
Coming Up Taller Initiative
Logo Design: Anthony
Ruotolo and Fang Zhou,
Permission to copy,
disseminate or otherwise use
information from this report is
granted as long as appropriate
acknowledgment is given.
This publication is available
from the President's
Committee on the Arts
and the Humanities at
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20506
o fast forward
and know how the kids will look back on this,
ave seen the JOy in their eyes #
and have heard it in their V O I C 6 S
d I have watched them take a bow and
I have wa
The 52nd Street Project,
describing the impact of
this theater program on
youth living in "Hell's
Kitchen," a neighborhood
in New York City.
"Within every child
exists a creative
potential that, once
our nation's most
The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to present Coming Up Taller Awards
to 10 outstanding arts programs that nurture the creative promise of our children.
Within every child exists a creative potential that, once tapped, represents our
nation's most precious natural resource. Nothing is more powerful than the creative
force of the human spirit and it is precisely that creativity that these Coming Up
Taller Award winners help to encourage and develop.
In a world where all too often the creative possibilities of our children are stifled by
violence, abuse, and anger, these after school and summer arts programs provide
safe havens where caring adults help young people to explore and discover who
they are and what they want to become.
Young people are given an opportunity to create, experience, and learn about art.
Whether transforming old chairs into artistic treasures, learning traditional dances,
designing glass sculptures, writing poetry, performing plays, or improvising jazz,
these young artists are finding positive outlets for their emotions and learning
important life skills, such as communication and teamwork.
It has been said that there are really only two lasting gifts we can give our children:
roots and wings. Coming Up Taller programs give them both — an appreciation of
America's rich and diverse cultural heritage, along with the self-confidence to achieve
The National Endowment for the Arts is honored to recognize these 10 outstanding
arts programs and is committed to supporting community efforts dedicated to pro-
viding a future of hope for America's children.
Note from John Brademas &
LJ r* ■/•■/•i^^-4" Ara
This Coming Up Taller Awards publication celebrates the creative and constructive
accomplishments of America's young people. It highlights the power of the arts
and the humanities to help parents give their children a productive and safe start
in life. It profiles the ways in which muralists, musicians, writers, theater artists,
filmmakers, historians, and many others contribute as teachers, mentors and com-
munity-builders to the lives of children and the communities in which they live.
This is the second year of the Coming Up Taller Awards offered by the President's
Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the National
Endowment for the Arts. Through these awards, we seek to showcase cultural
excellence and enhance the availability of the arts and the humanities to children
from the earliest years through adolescence. Our goal is to focus national attention
on concrete examples of the arts and the humanities as they benefit families and
communities across America and to support exemplary programs of artists and
scholars who work with young people.
In 1999, the President's Committee received 350 nominations for the Coming Up
Taller Awards from 47 states and the District of Columbia. This booklet describes
the 10 honored programs and lists the 40 semifinalists. To the awardees, we offer
our congratulations. To the semifinalists, we recognize your excellence. And to all
the artists and scholars working with young people through community programs,
we applaud your efforts to educate and inspire children, and to provide them safe
havens when they are not in school or at home. Together you are transforming lives and
building America's future.
Our goal is to focus
national attention on...
the arts and the humani-
ties as they benefit families
and communities... and
to support... artists and
scholars who work with
Angkor Dance Troupe
Lowell, MA 01 853
Number Participating: 60
Ages: 4- 1 8
Annual Budget: $90,000
"These students show a
level of discipline and respect
for elders that I don't usually
see in Cambodian kids in
Lowell. It gives me a feeling
of hope that I haven't felt
in a long time."
A n gkor Dance T roupe
Not long after his Cambodian refugee family settled into Lowell, Massachusetts, 14-year-old Samnang Hor's two
older brothers sought refuge elsewhere: on the streets with a youth gang. But Samnang chose a different path.
He joined the Angkor Dance Troupe and became a promising apprentice dancer. "I learned more about my own
culture. I made new friends. I learned that I can express myself freely without any altercation. I also learned how
to work as a team, to learn the dance and make it all flow smoothly."
Samnang 's family experience is not uncommon in Lowell, home to the second largest Cambodian- American
community in the United States. Their haven, however, is in an unexpected place: a nationally recognized
traditional arts performing ensemble. Started in 1986 by a handful of resettled dancers and teachers, the Angkor
Dance Troupe teaches and performs a repertoire of Cambodian folk and classical dances drawn from one of
Cambodia's most prestigious cultural institutions.
The Troupe helps young people make constructive choices in their lives by immersing them in the rich cultural
heritage from which they come. The organization has more than 40 youth apprentices who rigorously rehearse
and participate in Troupe events. Most apprentices stay with the Troupe for at least four or five years. "Angkor's
success in helping Cambodian young people navigate the difficult balance between contemporary youth culture
and their cultural heritage makes the dance troupe one of our state's cultural treasures," says Mary Kelley,
executive director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
The Angkor Dance Troupe recently inaugurated Angkor Youth Dance, an after-school and summer youth pro-
gram conducted in partnership with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, the city
police department and community schools program, and others. Angkor Youth Dance teaches Cambodian tradi-
tional dance while incorporating study skills training, violence prevention and drug resistance education, case
management and referrals by professional social workers, and free meals. "It is a program designed to meet a
critical need in our community," notes Troupe President Chhan Touch. "By teaching dance, we are saving lives."
Above left: The Fan Dance
performed at the Lowell
Folk Festival. Above: The
spirited Monkey Dance
dazzles the audience.
Tim Chan Thou
Corcoran Art Mentorship Program (CAMP)
In Washington, DC, the Corcoran Gallery of Art gets high marks for its efforts to reach Washington's different constituencies through
its exhibitions and education programs. Since 1993, one program — the Corcoran Art Mentorship Program (CAMP), co-founded by Judy
Byron, professional artist, and Samuel Hoi, dean of Corcoran College of Art and Design — has succeeded in teaming professional artists
with high school students in long-term, one-on-one mentoring relationships. CAMP helps teens build technical skills and confidence,
succeed academically in high school, envision a future beyond their senior year, and either
secure full-time employment or pursue post-secondary education.
The artist-mentor relationship is the heart of CAMP, and fundamental to that relationship is
mutual agreement. Mentors and students sign joint learning contracts at the beginning of each
academic year that highlight their objectives and expectations. The contract also reinforces
participants' commitment to the principle of mutual respect.
For Hector Gomez, a high school senior at the School Without Walls, and David Carlson, a
painter and faculty member at Marymount College, that contract came to life as they spent
approximately 16 hours a month together creating art, visiting art museums, discussing
paintings, working ideas into an extensive photographic study, and exhibiting the works in
a Corcoran show. Concurrently, Carlson and Gomez joined other student-mentor teams at 10
separate group meetings to talk about their work. They also participated in breakout sessions
to work on post-high school planning, such as strategies for taking the SATs and sources of financial aid. David frequently visited
Hector's home and kept in contact with his teachers and other people in his daily life.
At year's end, the CAMP participants go on a retreat to complete a major work and evaluate their experiences. CAMP students also
enroll in the Corcoran College of Art and Design's Open Program to expand their technical skills and earn college credit. In an effort
to further bolster students' success, CAMP leaders are launching a pilot art and writing summer program in July 2000 to enhance
participants' verbal and writing skills and critical thinking talents by using art and art concepts as instructional vehicles.
Above: Mentor Rex Weil
along with youth drawing
up plans for a mural at
Friendship House. Opposite:
Thinking of You, 1997,
created by Kennia Alvarez.
Corcoran College of
Art and Design
500 1 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-4804
Number Participating: 12
Annual Budget: $48,620
Fourteen seniors graduated
from CAMP in 1997-99.
They all enrolled in college
or aim to continue with
higher education. Selected
majors include fine arts,
engineering, and architecture.
of Washington, DC
1 33 1 H Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-347- 1 734, xl 7
Focus: Creative Writing,
Number Participating: 1 ,000
Annual Budget: $256,000
Schools participating in
the DC WritersCorps
program have credited
the program with helping
to decrease truancy and
to increase student inter-
est in reading and writing.
Above: Michael Billups
wows the crowd at the
1999 Bring in Da Slam
Triumphant poets pose
with their trophies after
the 1999 Bring In Da Slam
Clifford L. Russell, Jr.
For Jessica Rawls, a student at Hart Middle School in southeast Washington, DC, "Writing has helped me discover places inside and
outside myself that I didn't know existed." Since joining DC WritersCorps, she has traveled as a poetry team member, been featured on
a national television show, won numerous poetry awards, and read before the President and First Lady at a White House celebration.
Without DC WritersCorps, Jessica and more than 1,000 young people would lack opportunities to use the power of the spoken and
written word, to strengthen reading and writing skills, to tap productively into their natural love of competition and expression, and to
sample wider cultural opportunities.
Begun in 1994 as collaboration between National Service/ AmeriCorps and the National Endowment for the Arts, DC WritersCorps got
its start as part of a national program with other sites in the Bronx and San Francisco. Now a project of the Humanities Council of DC,
DC WritersCorps initially provided services to a broad spectrum of underserved communities before focusing its full attention on
serving youth in public schools and public housing. Once a week at all 11 middle schools, accomplished writers conduct school-based
writing workshops for the entire school year. In after-school writing clubs, two-hour sessions provide opportunities beyond the class-
room as well as chances to enjoy plays, readings, tours, and other events through collaborations with Washington theaters, museums,
and libraries. In the after-school Mentors Reading Club, students read books provided free to them, then come together with corporate
professionals and authors to discuss what they've read.
And then there is the popular, exuberant, and high-profile Youth Poetry Slam League sponsored by Borders Books & Music and
designed to let young people plug into the fun of poetry through healthy competition. The
Washington Post's Jacqueline Trescott caught the essence of the slam experience when she
wrote: "The WritersCorps Youth Poetry Slam League has made the reading and writing of litera-
ture as popular as sporting events. Students who once would have bristled at the idea of being
called a poet are now clamoring for the limited space available in the after-school writing clubs."
East Bay Center for
the Performing Arts
339 Nth Street
Richmond, CA 94801
Focus: Dance, Film, Music,
Comparative Study Program
Number Participating: 2000
Ages: 3-2 1
Annual Budget: $ 1 ,098,000
"The arts are a celebration
of human beings behaving
well. When you bring stu-
dents back again and again
and again to the practice,
you see them grow and
East Bay Center for the
East Bay Center for the Performing Arts
In 1968, in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, five artists came together in an inner-city
church Sunday school in Richmond, California, to found the East Bay Music Center. Their dream: to make
quality education in the arts accessible to everyone and to employ the arts as a vehicle for social reconciliation
and social change.
Thirty-one years later, their dream has come to full life in the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. Now
one of the oldest, largest, and best-known community-based minority cultural centers in the country, the East
Bay Center offers thousands of children and young adults rigorous, sequential training in traditional and con-
temporary — as well as rare and non-commercial — art forms and regular opportunities to perform in community
festivals, in-house productions, and life-cycle rituals. Young people learn to play steel drums or classical guitar,
study ballet or the huapango dance repertoire, write plays, produce dramatic and documentary films, tell folk
tales, or participate in Laotian Family New Year celebrations, ancestral Ghanaian festivals or traditional rural
Home to 10 culturally specific resident companies and 20 master artists who work on a continuing basis with
young people, the Center employs in total an artistic faculty of 70, serving 2,000 young people a year in long-
term, sequential classes operating at a 15,000 square-foot main site and in 15-20 public schools and neighbor-
hood sites. Many participants go on to advanced-level classes; some attend the Center's Intensive Summer
Institute, a five- week immersion in comparative study, integrating cross-cultural and multidisciplinary training
and human perception. A number become teachers, interns, and mentors themselves.
The Center's commitment to the cultural and artistic life of the community is exemplified in its 40-some col-
lectively driven, original theater and film works; in its work with adolescents caught up in the justice system;
in its collaboration with group homes, homeless shelters, and other youth-centered programs. By linking per-
sonal motivation with artistic programs that enhance young people's ability to engage with their environment,
the Center encourages them to imaginatively transform it.
Below Left: A young dancer
performs Adzohu, an Anlo-Ewa
dance and drumming ritual.
Below: Mien priest and artist,
Yoon Saelee, with apprentice
performing Orn-cho, an ancient
Any youth ages 14-21 who resides in the City of Chicago and would like to dance, make music, create
visual art, or write in exchange for a paycheck this summer is eligible to apply to this job program.
That offer comes from the announcement for Chicago's Gallery 37, the city's job training program in the arts
for youth, which began in 1991 with a summer program for 260 young people held on the city's vacant Block
37. Today, more than 11,000 "apprentice artist" and 1,100 professional "lead artist" jobs later, Gallery 37 is
a year-round, multi-part program that includes (1) the original Downtown Program employing 600-650 youth
each summer; (2) the Neighborhood Program that employs 800 youth each summer at community centers
and parks citywide; (3) the Schools Program employing 1,200 young people in 40 full-year programs in Chicago's public high schools;
and (4) the Connections pre-employment program for students in grades 5-8, one-quarter of whom have special needs.
On the job, young people learn not only the value of a paycheck but also the importance of a job and artistic skills that can translate into
work in growing career fields, such as graphic design and video production. They learn to meet high expectations and produce serious,
legitimate, high-quality work acceptable for sale or installation in public places.
Administered by the City of Chicago and the Arts Matter Foundation, Gallery 37 receives funding from the federal Job Training
Partnership Act. With the addition of private funding, Gallery 37 has expanded the practice of this federal youth employment program
and increased the scope, quality, and flexibility of its programs. It is able to employ — and bring together — youth from all income levels
in a rich, far-reaching learning experience.
Not a program to rest on its laurels — and there have been many, including its replication in more than 16 U.S. cities as well as London
and Adelaide — Gallery 37 has just added a teen literary series featuring readings from Gallery 37 's published literary anthology and
produced its first CD of music created and recorded by Gallery 37 young people.
Above: Gallery 37 artist
painting a mural for the
Chicago Transit Authority.
Opposite: Apprentice dancer
at the Summer Downtown
of Cultural Affairs
Chicago Cultural Center
78 East Washington Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Focus:Visual, Literary, and
Number Participating: 3,300
Annual Budget: $3,504,705
"When you tell people
they are 'rotten teenagers,'
then they act like 'rotten
teenagers.' Call them
'apprentice artists,' and
you have sculptors and
painters and architects and
musicians — people who can
really make a difference in
Hilltop Artists in
PO Box 6829
Focus: Hot Glass
Number Participating: 400
Annual Budget: $509,575
"Before I got into glass-
blowing, the next day
never really meant any-
thing because, with what
I knew, I wasn't promised
another day. Now we
are opening a school at
Taos Pueblo where I will
be an instructor."
Hilltop Artists in Residence
Above: A student, Lucas
Lowery, and instructor,
Greg Piercy, in the glass
studio. Opposite: Artist
Dale Chihuly works with
Hilltop Artists in Residence
Glassblowing has long been considered an elite art and is rarely offered to youth. However, in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma, the
attention and imagination of "a bunch of guys running the streets and causing trouble" has been captured by a "hot shop" housed in the
former shop classroom of a middle school. Launched in 1994 by a private nonprofit organization, Hilltop Artists in Residence, created by
Kathy Kaperick with master glass artist Dale Chihuly, provides a daily program of arts instruction, academics, tutoring support, and men-
toring. It is a gathering place for youth who are drawn in by the warmth, safety, and camaraderie of the studio atmosphere as a welcome
alternative to life on the streets.
In creating Hilltop Artists in Residence, Kaperick saw in glassblowing an art form that might attract young people who are used to
living on the edge. Working with hot glass generates excitement, requires immediate attention, and represents a specific challenge.
It is intense to the degree that full attention is required 100 percent of the time — something familiar to young
people accustomed to "watching their backs." Besides giving students skills in a breath takingly beautiful art
form, glassblowing also teaches participants teamwork, discipline, and the importance of strict adherence to
rules. It allows them to feel trusted as they work with the often dangerous equipment and delicate substances.
Funded in part by the city of Tacoma, Hilltop Artists in Residence operates in partnership with Tacoma
Public Schools, conducting instruction after school and during the summers on school grounds and recently
as an official alternative school. Hilltop requires school enrollment (or re-enrollment) for participation and
class credit. Other alliances afford paid summer internships and peer tutoring. The next partnership on
Hilltop's horizon is even more far-reaching: a joint venture with the Taos Pueblo New Mexico to create a
full-scale glassblowing and academic facility that will operate in conjunction with Tacoma Hilltop.
Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit
They are a true mosaic: young people from 45 city and suburban schools, ages 12-20, from different races and religions and diverse
economic backgrounds. What they share is an artistic home: Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.
Mosaic was founded in 1992 by actor/director/educator Rick Sperling to fill an educational gap in a community where the majority of young
people have no opportunity to study theater in their schools. Today Mosaic offers a nine-month "Youth Ensemble" program providing free,
quality theatrical training for 85 Detroit area young people. Ensemble members work with professional actors, writers, musicians, com-
posers, and designers. Rehearsing after school and on weekends, the students are involved in every element of production, including writ-
ing the play, composing the music, and designing and building the set. After the play is developed, the Youth Ensemble tours the show
to 16 schools, where it is seen by more than 6,000 of their peers. The year culminates with performances at local professional theaters. At
these performances, the young people "take over." There are no adults onstage, backstage, or in the lighting booth. The young people
literally "run the show."
Outreach programs involve 150-200 students annually in free workshops, uniting youth from Detroit's African-American, Arab-American
and Latino communities. Mosaic's National Touring Company and "Next Stage" Company provide advanced training, touring and employ-
ment opportunities for Youth Ensemble alumni.
Mosaic's young people learn the true meaning of teamwork and professionalism. They experience the importance of dreaming and the
amount of hard work and perseverance it takes to make a dream come true. They also learn the importance of service to their community.
In addition to public performances, the young people bring musical concerts and theater to homeless shelters, senior centers, hospitals,
churches, and youth homes.
Mosaic's performances have received critical acclaim and have earned invitations to perform across the country and around the world.
Mosaic represented the United States at the 1996 World Festival of Children's Theatre in Copenhagen, performed at the Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, in 1999, and has been chosen to represent the United States at the World Youth Theatre 2000
W ■ % ^.'1
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Above Right: The cast of
Crossing 8 Mile, an adapta
tion of Shakespeare's The
Comedy of Errors. Above
Left: Jacinta Jenkins as
"First Fairy" in What Fools
These Mortals Be!
Mosaic Youth Theatre
PO Box 09667
Detroit, Ml 48209
Fax: 3 1 3-554-0306
mi 1 2/mosaic/theater.html
Focus: Theater Arts
Number Participating: 235
Annual Budget: $357, 226
Ninety-five percent of
the Ensemble members
graduate from high school
and 90 percent of those
go on to college.
Fl Puente Arts & Cultural Center
For almost 20 years, the people of Williamsburg have been building a bridge in Brooklyn — a bridge on which young people can
transform a neighborhood into a better one of their own making. Appropriately, the community and youth development center in
the middle of this mission is called El Puente, Spanish for "The Bridge."
Founded in 1982 by Luis Garden Acosta and a group of community leaders, including dancer and educator Frances Lucerna, after a
wave of violence struck their Brooklyn neighborhood, El Puente is Brooklyn's most comprehensive Latino multi-arts and cultural center.
It is a place where young people and their families see the worlds of the arts, health, education and the environment as interconnected.
It is a haven dedicated to building young champions who are committed to investing their energies in the place where they live.
Once accepted, teen members develop individualized plans with El Puente staff. A daily after-school program is conducted at
El Puente's spacious home, a former Catholic Church that was once an opera house. Here students pursue their arts instruction in
dance, drama, music, media and fine arts and graphic design, and they work on El Puente's year-long multidisciplinary project in col-
laboration with El Puente's public high school, El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice. One such
performance project: Fashion Conscious: La Moda que Siente, inspired by Williamsburg's garment
sweatshops. This year, students will produce four bilingual Public Service Announcements, a mural,
and two short plays on asthma and the environment. In addition, El Puente has three youth resident
companies. Teatro El Puente uses theater to address important health issues. El Puente Dance
Ensemble sees modern dance as a means of communicating a sense of community and cultural
identity. El Puente Mural Group invests in the cultural and physical restoration of the community.
In the process, El Puente is producing educated, resilient artists and community leaders who may go
on to dance with leading companies, paint professionally, win a Tony Award (as did former member
Wilson Jermaine Herreira for his role in Rent), or to return to Brooklyn and help build more bridges.
Above: El Puente Dance
La Vida es Diversa (Life
is Diverse). Opposite: El
Puente musicians in La
Vida es Diversa.
El Puente Arts &
2 1 I South 4th Street
Brooklyn, NY I 1 2 1 I
Focus: Media, Performing
and Visual Arts
Number Participating: 300
Annual Budget: $450,030
"Nobody wants to be
called 'at risk.' We need
to serve kids not on the
basis of their potential as
criminals and pregnant
teens but on who they
are as people."
Luis Garden Acosta
Teen Parent Reading
on the Humanities
200 Park Street
Focus: Children's Literature
Number Participating: 960
teens; 1 ,500 children
Ages: 1 3- 1 9; 5 weeks-6 years
Annual Budget: $25, 1 1
"Renee, mother of two
told me that she now has
a library card and uses
the library regularly. Her
children's attention span
for stories has increased
a thousand fold."
Teen Parent Reading Project
In 1994, a survey of 100 Vermont kindergarten teachers by the Vermont Agency of Human Services revealed
that 20 percent of 5-year-olds were not ready to succeed in school. The
Vermont Council on the Humanities, which eight years earlier had piloted
a youth reading and discussion program, responded with an initiative
focused on one of the state's most vulnerable populations: teen parents
and their children. Building on research that links school success with
being read to as a child and that shows the importance of conversation to
learning, the Vermont Council on the Humanities developed a series of
reading discussion groups for teen parents and their children. The Council's
goal: to instill a love of books and reading in young parents and to help children to enter school ready to learn.
Using children's literature, specially trained humanities scholars — college professors, writers, school teachers,
librarians — make books come alive by encouraging parents to relate what they read to their own lives and
teach book-related activities that parents can do at home with their children. In each session parents receive
children's books to begin or enhance their own libraries, learn the importance of reading with their children,
and gain confidence in their own reading ability.
The Council began offering these sessions at central locations, but early feedback indicated that the rural
isolation of numerous young parents and the unpredictability of their lives made it difficult for many to attend
group sessions. Therefore, the Council developed specialized training for public health and social service
providers to help them incorporate the reading discussions and activities with parents into their comprehen-
sive, individual home visiting services. In this way, the providers can integrate the parent learning activities
and the delivery of several excellent books with their ongoing work. Long-time advocates for children and
families, these providers are now passionate advocates for the importance of reading with children and talking
about ideas in books.
Below: Jessica McSweeney
and Allison Harvey read
Joshua Harvey to sleep.
Opposite: The classics are
a popular choice among
Below: YA/YA artists take
time to pose with their
artwork. Opposite: YA/YA
artists paint chairs in
Young Aspirations/Young Artists, Inc .
Named Young Aspirations/Young Artists but known around the world as simply "YA/YA," New Orleans' mold-
breaking arts and social service organization aims to empower urban youth by helping them to become self-
sufficient through creative expression and artistic production. YA/YA began in 1988 when local artist Jana
Napoli began collaborating with a handful of students from the vocational high school near her studio. With
eight young people, she organized an exhibition of their paintings of historic buildings in the city and invited
civic and business leaders to the opening. All the paintings sold. Soon afterward, when someone donated a
few secondhand chairs, the group developed its signature work — chairs in bold, vibrant designs — and YA/YA
In business for 10 years, YA/YA is structured after the Renaissance Apprentice/Guild system. Under the super-
vision of an artistic staff, the young people learn to paint images on furniture, screen print, batik, paint silk
fabric, and design projects ranging from posters to murals to watches. Portfolios document their progress.
They also receive one-on-one coaching and participate in peer critique sessions. In an echo of the modern
Arts and Crafts Movement, YA/YA artists earn 50-80 percent of their art sales, depending on the program level
they have attained. The students also work on project teams with visiting artists. Together they take on large-
scale, multiple-phase commissions for clients such as the United Nations,
^■P"fJ( £h| ^ Swatch, Ltd., MTV, and the New Orleans Opera Association.
All YA/YA students must maintain a "C" average to participate in the program
and a "B" average to travel, requirements that provide strong incentives for
students to stay in school and achieve scholastic success. YA/YA offers acade-
mic tracking, tutoring, and other educational and career assistance, too. And,
increasingly, it encourages students to participate in such community initia-
tives as chair workshops for junior high school students, and art instruction to
enhance the programs of the New Orleans Recreation Department
628 Baronne Street
New Orleans, LA 701 13
Number Participating: 40
Annual Budget: $572,340
"It pleases me that YA/YA
not only has found a way
to nurture talent, but
also to help young people
create a self-sustaining
organization that can act
as a springboard to viable
careers in the tough,
competitive world of arts
Marc H. Morial
The 1999 Coming Up Taller Awards Semifina lists
AileyCamp, Kansas City
Friends of Alvin Alley
Kansas City, MO
ALPHA Teen Theatre, Alliance
for the Progress of Hispanic
American Variety Theatre
The Artists Collective, Inc.
Theatre of Saint Louis
St. Louis, MO
ArtWORKS for Youth, Tucson-
Pima Arts Council
Bard Course in the
Humanities, The Door
New York, NY
Boston Photo Collaborative
Jamaica Plain, MA
The Boys' Choir of Tallahassee
Chicago Children's Choir
Children of the Future,
Christina Cultural Arts
City Center Art, Space
City Teens Design Company,
Artists for Humanity
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Community Folklife Program
and Positive Youth Troupe,
Creative Solutions Program,
Young Audiences of
Dance -The Next Generation,
Sarasota Ballet of Florida
Instruction for Hmong
Children, Lawrence Arts
James E. Biggs Early
Childhood Education Center
Levine School of Music,
The LIFT Study Program,
The Dance Ring, Inc. /New
York Theatre Ballet
New York, NY
Living Stage Theatre
Company, Arena Stage
Mayor's Youth Employment
in the Arts
Moving in the Spirit
Multicultural Education and
Counseling through the Arts
Phillis Wheatley Repertory
Theatre for Youth, Phillis
Point Breeze Performing
PRIME TIME-Family Reading
Time, Louisiana Endowment
for the Humanities
New Orleans, LA
Project ABLE, Mill Street Loft
RAW Art Works
Saint Joseph Ballet
Santa Ana, CA
Santa Fe Teen Arts Center,
Santa Fe, NM
SmartArt, Center for
Development and Learning
Synthesis Arts Workshop,
United Action for Youth
Iowa City, IA
To Make The World
A Better Place
New York, NY
The Village of Arts
Youth Works, The Lied
Las Vegas, NV
Tomas J. Benitez
Self Help Graphics
and Art, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA
Founder and Director
Center for the Study
of Art and Community
Dean of Arts and
St. Philip's College
San Antonio, TX
Shirley K. Sneve
Visual Arts Center
Sioux Falls, SD
Karen White Studio
Daniel J. Windham
President and CEO
Kansas City Young
Kansas City, MO
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the U.S.
Government created by Congress in 1965 to benefit all Americans. Its mission is to
serve the public good by nurturing human creativity, supporting community spirit,
and fostering appreciation of the excellence and diversity of our nation's artistic
on the Arts
for the Arts
Patrick D. Davidson
Richard J. Durbin
Terry H. Evans
Ronnie F. Heyman
Nita M. Lowey
Cleo Parker Robinson
Judith O. Rubin
Richard J. Stern
Townsend D. Wolfe HI
The President's Committee on the Arts and the
Humanities was created by Presidential Executive
Order in 1982 to encourage private sector support and
to increase public appreciation of the value of the arts
and the humanities, through projects, publications and
meetings. Appointed by the President, the Committee
comprises leading citizens from the private sector who
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Peggy Cooper Cafritz
Anne Cox Chambers
Betsy Levitt Cohn
Margaret C. Daley
Everett L. Fly
have an interest in and commitment to the humanities Emily Malino Scheuer Richard S. Gurin
and the arts. Its members also include the heads of
federal agencies with cultural programs.
Lerone Bennett, Jr.
Madeleine H. Berman
John H. Bryan
Irene Y. Hirano
David Henry Hwang
Alice S. Kandell
Raymond D. Nasher
Anthony T. Podesta
Hilary B. Rosen
Raymond W. Smith
Howard A. Tullman
Shirley P. Wilhite
Harold M. Williams
Harriet Mayor Fulbright
Coming Up Taller
National Endowment for the Arts
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20506
President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW • Suite 526
Washington, DC 20506
1999 COMING UP TALLER AWARDS
To recognize community arts and humanities programs that
promote the creativity, development and safety of children and
Tuesday, October 26, 1999
Old Executive Office Building
The White House
FOR THE ARTS
1999 COMING UP TALLER AWARDEES
I ANGKOR DANCE TROUPE
Sopheap Chan Sou, Apprentice Instructor
Samnang Hor, Youth Representative
CORCORAN ART MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Corcoran College of Art and Design
Judy Byron, Coordinator, Corcoran Art Mentorship Program
Hector Gomez, Youth Representative
Humanities Council of Washington, DC
Kenneth Carroll, Urban Scholars Director,
Humanities Council of Washington, DC
Isaac Colon III, Youth Representative
EAST BAY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Dolores Garcia, Youth Representative
Darnay Thompson, Youth Representative
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Elaine Rackos, Director, Gallery 37
Stephanie Hernandez, Youth Representative
William Baldwin is an actor and President of Tlie Creative Coalition, the leading
nonprofit, nonpartisan social and political advocacy organization of the arts and
entertainment industry'. He launched his film career with a role in Oliver Stone 's "Born on
the Fourth of July, " followed by the box office hit "Backdraft" and the science thriller
"Flatliners. " A native of Massapequa, NY, Mr. Baldwin graduated from the State
University of New York at Binghamton with a degree in Political Science. He serves on the
boards of the New York Cultural Task Force; HELP USA; and Rock the Vote. He lives in
New York City with his wife Chynna Phillips.
Dale Chihuly is an artist and educator whose work is included in many museum
collections. In 1992, Mr. Chihuly was designated the first National Living Treasure by the
University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Without his early and steadfast support of
Hilltop Artists in Residence, this program would not exist today.
Isaac M. Colon III is a sophomore at Washington, DCs Duke Ellington School of the
Arts where he majors in the visual arts. He has performed in the National Teen Poetiy
Slam Championship as a member of an all-star team representing the District of Columbia.
He also has performed at Borders Books & Music and on the nationally syndicated Black
Entertainment Television show, "Teen Summit. "
Vyrik Eng is the oldest boy among eight siblings and attends Bartlett Middle School in
Lowell, MA. He is a member of the Junior National Honor Society and an avid basketball
player. He just returned to dancing after recovering from a broken wrist that he received
skateboarding this summer.
Samnang Hor dazzles audiences with his spirited rendition of the legendary White Monkey
General, Hanuman, a role few apprentices ever master to performance levels. With the
Angkor Dance Troupe since 1994, Sam was recently promoted to assistant instructor. He is
a sophomore at Lowell High School where he is an "A " student and member of the high-
school gymnastics team. Sam was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and came to the US.
at age two.
Hoarc Noeuk joined the Troupe a year and a half ago. He is in the 8' h grade. Also known
as David, Hoare likes basketball, skateboarding, computer games and Pokemon.
Bory Sours likes to rollerblade, play basketball, and watch Khmer-language videos. He
has achieved considerable local acclaim for his break dancing, house dancing, and
"popping, " a 90 's version of the robot dance. The oldest boy of six siblings, Bory was
born in a refugee camp in Thailand and moved to the U.S. when he was two years old.
"Swva Pol," The Monkey Dance, is an excerpt from the Reamker, a centuries old
Cambodian legend. However, the performers have added some new American steps, while
maintaining the spirit and mannerisms of monkeys. In Cambodian legend, monkeys always
fight evil. These monkeys are army soldiers, gathering food to celebrate a victory.
Introduction of William Baldwin
Deputy Assistant to the President and Advisor to the First Lady on the Millennium
Actor and President, The Creative Coalition
Presentation of Awards
Chairman, President 's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
Reading of "One More Addiction "
Isaac Colon III
Humanities Council of Washington, DC
Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Artist, Tacoma. Washington
" Swva Pol" (The Monkey Dance)
Vyrik Eng Samnang Hor
Hoare Noeuk Bory Sours
Angkor Dance Troupe
Reception in the Indian Treaty Room
1999 COMING UP TALLER AWARDEES
HILLTOP ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Kathleen Kaperick, Co-Founder
Joseph Carston, Youth Representative
MOSAIC YOUTH THEATRE OF DETROIT
Rick Sperling, Artistic Director
Marcus Beeks, Youth Representative
EL PUENTE ARTS & CULTURAL CENTER
Brooklyn, New York
Frances Lucerna, Co-Founder, El Puente
Analdo Duran, Youth Representative
TEEN PARENT READING PROJECT
Vermont Council on the Humanities
Anne-Ellen Ackerman, Education and Employment Specialist,
Early Education Services
Rose M. Jones, Youth Representative
YOUNG ASPIRATIONS/YOUNG ARTISTS, INC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Sharika N. Mahdi, Outreach Director
Albert Stewart II, Youth Representative
"In communities across America, poets and actors, dancers
and musicians, painters and museum curators and other
caring adults are helping children discover their creative
potential in the arts and humanities. They are offering
children safe, stable environments in which to learn and
providing them the opportunity to develop their skills^ and
aspirations. That is what Coming Up Taller is all about. "
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton
President's Committee on the
Arts and the Humanities
"There is no way to fast forward and know how the kids will
look back on this, but I have seen the joy in their eyes and
have heard it in their voices and I have watched them take a
bow and come up taller. "
The 52 nd Street Project
New York, NY