Chicago Shakes Education Programs Will Receive National Honor From Michelle Obama

News   Chicago Shakes Education Programs Will Receive National Honor From Michelle Obama
First Lady Michelle Obama will present Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Chicago, IL) with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award – the nation's highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs – in an official White House ceremony Nov. 10.

Executive director Criss Henderson and Marilyn J. Halperin, director of education and Ray and Judy McCaskey education chair, will attend the ceremony in Washington, DC.

Halperin will accept the award in honor of CPS Shakespeare!, Chicago Shakespeare's arts-in-education partnership with Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s CPS Shakespeare! is one of only 12 programs honored from across the country this year. In addition to the ceremony at the White House, all awardees will receive $10,000 to further support programming.

According to press notes, "CPS Shakespeare! empowers an inter-generational ensemble of CPS students and teachers—guided and supported by a full team of CST theater professionals—to master Shakespeare’s difficult text and create a fully produced play on Chicago Shakespeare’s stage."

Jennifer Guadalupe Gonzalez, a junior at Prosser Career Academy and CPS Shakespeare! participant, will be "the student representative to address the gathered elected, civic and cultural leaders at the East Room ceremony." In a statement about her time with CPS Shakespeare!, Gonzalez explained, "We come from every part of the city, and we’re all from different cultures. This program has made me notice every person out in the world. We are all human beings with feelings."

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