First Lady Michelle Obama Honors Chicago Shakespeare Theater at the White House
First Lady Michelle Obama presented Chicago Shakespeare Theater with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the nation's highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs, at an official White House ceremony on November 10.
Marilyn J. Halperin, director of education and the Ray and Judy McCaskey education chair, accepted the award in recognition of CPS Shakespeare!, CST’s arts-in-education partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Current CPS Shakespeare! participant and Prosser Career Academy junior Jennifer Guadalupe Gonzalez was selected to address the gathered leaders at the East Room ceremony, where she spoke about the transformative impact of her two years in the program.
CPS Shakespeare! empowers an inter-generational ensemble of CPS students and teachers to master Shakespeare’s difficult text and create a fully produced play on Chicago Shakespeare’s stage. The program was launched in 2006 as a way to reach students with untapped potential from under-resourced schools.