WMCAT’s Teen Arts + Tech Program was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony on November 15 for being a top program in inspiring and engaging young people through creativity. As one of 12 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Honorees, WMCAT was chosen from a pool of 251 nominees and 50 finalists (we were a finalist in 2014 and 2015 as well).

Our Executive Director Daniel Williams and teen program graduate Keloni Seawood-Walton visited the White House to accept the award on WMCAT’s behalf. It was a life-changing experience for both of them!

In speaking in her final White House public event, Mrs. Obama said of the honorees, “We believe that every single child has boundless promise, no matter who they are, where they come from, or how much money their parents have. And it’s important to our continued greatness to see these kids as ours — not as ‘them’, not as ‘other’, but as ‘ours’. And that’s really the power of programs like these. That’s the message that they send to our young people every single day.”

Along with the phenomenal recognition from Mrs. Obama, WMCAT also received a grant of $10,000 to advance our amazing programming for and with teens in Grand Rapids. Thank you to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services for their partnership in presenting the NAHYP awards.

Click here to see video of WMCAT accepting the award from the First Lady.

Here is a round-up of media coverage of WMCAT receiving the NAHYP Award:

West Michigan Woman
Grand Rapids Business Journal
Rapid Growth Media
WGVU’s The Morning Show