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Full text of "Coming up taller awards"

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NATIONAL 

ENDOWMENT 
fOR THE ARTS 




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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 Communications 

Consortium 
Donside 

Grand Expeditions 
The Green Family 

Foundation 
Hachette Filipacchi 

Magazines 
Image Works 
Institute for Civil Society 
Istros Media Corporation 



Quincy Jones 
Loews Cineplex 

Entertainment 
MasterCard International 
National Endowment 

for the Arts 
Podesta Associates, Inc. 
Recording Industry 

of America 
The Rodgers Family 

Foundation, Inc. 
The Rodgers and 

Hammerstein Organization 



Samsonite Corporation 
Universal Studios, Inc. 
Kristen Schmeelcke of 

Holland and Knighs LLP 
Walter H. Shorenstein 
Sony Online Entertainment 
Westgate Resorts 
Whitmore Print and 

Imaging 
The WidmeyerBaker 

Group, Inc. 



Cover Photographs: 

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 
Booklet Design: 
Beth Singer Design 
Paper: Donside 
Printing: Whitmore Print 
and Imaging 

Coming Up Taller Initiative 
Logo Design: Anthony 
Ruotolo and Fang Zhou, 
Hachette Filipacchi 
Magazines 



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 
http://www.pcah.gov or 
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 
Suite 526, 

Washington, DC 20506 
Phone: 202-682-5409 
Fax: 202-682-5668 



■ 






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 



Come 



I have wa 



wr*\ 



Willie Reale 



The 52nd Street Project, 
describing the impact of 
this theater program on 
youth living in "Hell's 
Kitchen," a neighborhood 
in New York City. 



Note fi 



"Within every child 

exists a creative 

potential that, once 

tapped, represents 

our nation's most 

precious natural 



resource... 



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ill Iv 

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 
their dreams. 

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 & 

ulbright 



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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 
young people." 



Angkor Dance Troupe 



POBox 1553 
Lowell, MA 01 853 
Phone:978-441-9277 
Fax:978-937-9419 
E-Mail: pageone@mediaone.net 
URL: http://civic.uml.edu/ 
angkor 

Focus: Dance 

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." 

Mao Ouer, 

Police Officer, 
Lowell, MA 



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. 





Rick Reinhard 



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 Art 
Mentorship Program 
(CAMP) 

Corcoran College of 

Art and Design 

500 1 7th Street, NW 

Washington, DC 20006-4804 

Phone:202-639-1847 

Fax:202-639-1802 

E-Mail: mkissick@corcoran.org 

URL: www.corcoran.org 

Focus:Visual Arts 
Number Participating: 12 
Ages: 15-18 
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. 



DC WritersCorps 



Humanities Council 
of Washington, DC 
1 33 1 H Street, NW, 
Suite 902 

Washington, DC 20005 
Phone: 202-347- 1 734, xl 7 
Fax: 202-347-3350h 
E-Mail: kennyc@humanities- 

wdc.org 
URL: www.humanities. 

wdc.org 

Focus: Creative Writing, 
Literature 

Number Participating: 1 ,000 
Ages: 12-17 
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 
fundraiser. Opposite: 
Triumphant poets pose 
with their trophies after 
the 1999 Bring In Da Slam 
fundraiser. 



I 



■MM 



■■: 



Clifford L. Russell, Jr. 



DC WritersCorps 



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 
Phone:510-234-5624 
Fax:510-234-8206 
E-Mail: jordan@ 
eastbaycenter.org 
URL: www.eastbaycenter.org 

Focus: Dance, Film, Music, 
Theater, Videography, 
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 
develop." 

Jordan Simmons 

Artistic Director 

East Bay Center for the 

Performing Arts 



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 
Mexican fandangos. 

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 
Mien ceremony 




* 



Gallery 37 




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 
Program. 



Gallery 37 

Chicago Department 
of Cultural Affairs 
Chicago Cultural Center 
78 East Washington Street 
Chicago, IL 60602 
Phone:312-744-7095 
Fax:312-744-9249 
E-Mail: Gallery37@aol.com 
URL: www.gallery37.org 

Focus:Visual, Literary, and 
Performing Arts. 
Number Participating: 3,300 
Ages: 14-21 
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 
the world." 

Megan Brown, 

Apprentice Artist 




Hilltop Artists in 
Residence 

PO Box 6829 
Tacoma.WA 98407 
Phone:253-396-1455 
Fax:253-396-1457 

Focus: Hot Glass 

Instruction 
Number Participating: 400 
Ages: 8-20 
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." 

James Kinnard 

Student 

Hilltop Artists in Residence 




Above: A student, Lucas 
Lowery, and instructor, 
Greg Piercy, in the glass 
studio. Opposite: Artist 
Dale Chihuly works with 
a student. 



Getf Hinds 



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. 




Geff Hinds 



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 
in London. 





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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 
of Detroit 

PO Box 09667 
Detroit, Ml 48209 
Phone:313-554-1422 
Fax: 3 1 3-554-0306 
E-Mail: moyouth@aol.com 
URL: www.angelfire.com/ 
mi 1 2/mosaic/theater.html 

Focus: Theater Arts 
Number Participating: 235 
Ages: 12-20 
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. 





Shirley Rodriguez 



Above: El Puente Dance 
Ensemble performs 
La Vida es Diversa (Life 
is Diverse). Opposite: El 
Puente musicians in La 
Vida es Diversa. 



El Puente Arts & 
Cultural Center 

El Puente 

2 1 I South 4th Street 

Brooklyn, NY I 1 2 1 I 

Phone:718-387-0404 

Fax:718-387-6816 

Focus: Media, Performing 
and Visual Arts 
Number Participating: 300 
Ages: 12-21 
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 

Founder 



Teen Parent Reading 
Project 

Vermont Council 
on the Humanities 
200 Park Street 
Morrisville,VT 05661 
Phone:802-888-3183 
Fax:802-888-1236 
E-Mail: info@vermont 

humanities.org 
URL: www.vermont 

humanities.org 

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 
preschoolers, proudly 
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." 

Richard Hill 

Service Provider 




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 
young parents. 




Below: YA/YA artists take 
time to pose with their 
artwork. Opposite: YA/YA 
artists paint chairs in 
Amsterdam. 




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 
took off. 

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 




Young 

Aspirations/Young 
Artists, Inc. 

628 Baronne Street 
New Orleans, LA 701 13 
Phone: 504-529-3306 
Fax: 504-524-7432 
E-Mail: yaya_art@earthlink.net 

Focus.Visual Arts 
Number Participating: 40 
Ages: 14-16 
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 
and crafts." 

Marc H. Morial 

Mayor 
New Orleans 




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 

Americans, Inc. 

Manchester, NH 
American Variety Theatre 

Company 

Minneapolis, MN 
The Artists Collective, Inc. 

Hartford, CT 
Artists-in-Training, Opera 

Theatre of Saint Louis 

St. Louis, MO 
ArtWORKS for Youth, Tucson- 

Pima Arts Council 

Tucson, AZ 
Bard Course in the 

Humanities, The Door 

New York, NY 
Boston Photo Collaborative 

Jamaica Plain, MA 
The Boys' Choir of Tallahassee 

Tallahassee, FL 



Chicago Children's Choir 

Chicago, IL 
Children of the Future, 

Greater Columbus 

Arts Council 

Columbus, OH 
Christina Cultural Arts 

Center, Inc. 

Wilmington, DE 
City Center Art, Space 

One Eleven 

Birmingham, AL 
City Teens Design Company, 

Artists for Humanity 

Boston, MA 
Community Connection, 

Indianapolis Museum of Art 

Indianapolis, IN 
Community Folklife Program 

and Positive Youth Troupe, 

Mind-Builders Creative 

Arts Center 

Bronx, NY 
Creative Solutions Program, 

Young Audiences of 

Greater Dallas 

Dallas, TX 



Dance -The Next Generation, 

Sarasota Ballet of Florida 

Sarasota, FL 
Enriched Instrumental 

Instruction for Hmong 

Children, Lawrence Arts 

Academy 

Appleton, WI 
James E. Biggs Early 

Childhood Education Center 

Covington, KY 
Levine School of Music, 

Southeast Site 

Washington, DC 
The LIFT Study Program, 

The Dance Ring, Inc. /New 

York Theatre Ballet 

New York, NY 
Living Stage Theatre 

Company, Arena Stage 

Washington, DC 
Marwen Foundation 

Chicago, IL 
Mayor's Youth Employment 

in the Arts 

Kenosha, WI 



Moving in the Spirit 

Atlanta, GA 
Multicultural Education and 

Counseling through the Arts 

Houston, TX 
Phillis Wheatley Repertory 

Theatre for Youth, Phillis 

Wheatley Association 

Greenville, SC 
Point Breeze Performing 

Arts Center 

Philadelphia, PA 
PRIME TIME-Family Reading 

Time, Louisiana Endowment 

for the Humanities 

New Orleans, LA 
Project ABLE, Mill Street Loft 

Poughkeepsie, NY 
RAW Art Works 

Lynn, MA 
Saint Joseph Ballet 

Santa Ana, CA 
Santa Fe Teen Arts Center, 

Warehouse 21 

Santa Fe, NM 



SmartArt, Center for 

Development and Learning 

Covington, LA 
The Spot 

Denver, CO 
Synthesis Arts Workshop, 

United Action for Youth 

Iowa City, IA 
To Make The World 

A Better Place 

New York, NY 
The Village of Arts 

and Humanities 

Philadelphia, PA 
Youth Works, The Lied 

Discovery Children's 

Museum 

Las Vegas, NV 



William Cleveland 



Karen White 



Associate Executive 
Director for 
Communications 
American Library 
Association 
Chicago, IL 



Tomas J. Benitez 

Director 

Self Help Graphics 

and Art, Inc. 

Los Angeles, CA 



Bill Bulick 

Founder 

Creative Planning 
Consultants 
Portland, OR 



Founder and Director 
Center for the Study 
of Art and Community 
Minneapolis, MN 

Homer Jackson 

Artist 
Philadelphia, PA 

Sandra Mayo 

Dean of Arts and 

Sciences 

St. Philip's College 

San Antonio, TX 

Shirley K. Sneve 

Director 

Visual Arts Center 

Sioux Falls, SD 



Artist 

Karen White Studio 

Denver, CO 



Daniel J. Windham 

President and CEO 
Kansas City Young 
Audiences 
Kansas City, MO 



Phillip Ying 

Violist 
Ying Quartet 
Rochester, NY 



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 
accomplishments. 



National Council 
on the Arts 

Bill Ivey 

Chairman, National 

Endowment 

for the Arts 
Cass Ballenger 

(ex officio) 
Gordon Davidson 
Patrick D. Davidson 



Mike DeWine 

(ex officio) 
Richard J. Durbin 

(ex officio) 
Terry H. Evans 
Joy Harjo 
Ronnie F. Heyman 
Speight Jenkins 
Nathan Leventhal 
Nita M. Lowey 

(ex officio) 
Marsha Mason 
Cleo Parker Robinson 



Judith O. Rubin 
Jeff Sessions 

(ex officio) 
Joan Specter 
Richard J. Stern 
Luis Valdez 
Townsend D. Wolfe HI 



lyRwERmSSBwiiTi 



iiTiifcfeV*]iVliT3 



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 
Honorary Chair 

John Brademas 
Chairman 

Peggy Cooper Cafritz 
Vice Chair 



Hilario Candela 
Anne Cox Chambers 
Betsy Levitt Cohn 
Margaret C. Daley 
Everett L. Fly 
Cynthia Friedman 
Harvey Golub 



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. 



Vice Chair 



Terry Semel 
Vice Chair 

Susan Barnes-Gelt 
Lerone Bennett, Jr. 
Madeleine H. Berman 
Curt Bradbury 
John H. Bryan 



Irene Y. Hirano 
David Henry Hwang 
Quincy Jones 
Alice S. Kandell 
Robert Menschel 
Rita Moreno 
Raymond D. Nasher 
Anthony T. Podesta 
Hilary B. Rosen 



Terry Semel 
Ann Sheffer 
Raymond W. Smith 
Isaac Stern 
Howard A. Tullman 
Shirley P. Wilhite 
Harold M. Williams 

Executive Director: 

Harriet Mayor Fulbright 

Coming Up Taller 
Staff Contact 

Judith Humphreys 
Weitz 



National Endowment for the Arts 

1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 

Washington, DC 20506 

Phone: 202-682-5400 

Fax: 202-682-5611 

URL: http://arts.endow.gov 



President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities 

1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW • Suite 526 

Washington, DC 20506 

Phone: 202-682-5409 

Fax: 202-682-5668 

URL: www.cominguptaller.org 



o*™£h 







1999 COMING UP TALLER AWARDS 

To recognize community arts and humanities programs that 
promote the creativity, development and safety of children and 

youth 



Tuesday, October 26, 1999 

Old Executive Office Building 

Presidential Hall 

Room 450 
The White House 
Washington, DC 



W 



NATIONAL 
ENDOWMENT 
FOR THE ARTS 



1999 COMING UP TALLER AWARDEES 

I ANGKOR DANCE TROUPE 

Lowell, Massachusetts 

Sopheap Chan Sou, Apprentice Instructor 
Samnang Hor, Youth Representative 

• 
CORCORAN ART MENTORSHIP PROGRAM 
Corcoran College of Art and Design 
Washington, DC 

Judy Byron, Coordinator, Corcoran Art Mentorship Program 
Hector Gomez, Youth Representative 



DC WRITERSCORPS 

Humanities Council of Washington, DC 

Washington, DC 

Kenneth Carroll, Urban Scholars Director, 

Humanities Council of Washington, DC 

Isaac Colon III, Youth Representative 

• 

EAST BAY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS 

Richmond, California 

Dolores Garcia, Youth Representative 
Darnay Thompson, Youth Representative 



GALLERY 37 

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs 

Chicago, Illinois 

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. 



PROGRAM 



Welcoming Remarks 

Mrs. Clinton 

Introduction of William Baldwin 

Ellen McCulloch-Lovell 

Deputy Assistant to the President and Advisor to the First Lady on the Millennium 

Remarks 

William Baldwin 

Actor and President, The Creative Coalition 
Presentation of Awards 

John Brademas 

Chairman, President 's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities 
Reading of "One More Addiction " 

Isaac Colon III 

DC WritersCorps 

Humanities Council of Washington, DC 

Washington, DC 

Bill Ivey 

Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts 

Dale Chihuly 

Artist, Tacoma. Washington 

Performance of 
" Swva Pol" (The Monkey Dance) 

Featuring 

Vyrik Eng Samnang Hor 

Hoare Noeuk Bory Sours 

Angkor Dance Troupe 

Closing Remarks 
Ellen McCulloch-Lovell 



Reception in the Indian Treaty Room 



1999 COMING UP TALLER AWARDEES 

HILLTOP ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE 
Tacoma, Washington 

Kathleen Kaperick, Co-Founder 
Joseph Carston, Youth Representative 

• 

MOSAIC YOUTH THEATRE OF DETROIT 

Detroit, Michigan 

Rick Sperling, Artistic Director 
Marcus Beeks, Youth Representative 

• 

EL PUENTE ARTS & CULTURAL CENTER 

El Puente 
Brooklyn, New York 

Frances Lucerna, Co-Founder, El Puente 
Analdo Duran, Youth Representative 

• 

TEEN PARENT READING PROJECT 
Vermont Council on the Humanities 

Morrisville, Vermont 

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 

Honorary Chair 

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. " 

Willie Reale 

Founder 

The 52 nd Street Project 

New York, NY