Since 2006, Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) has greatly expanded its focus on teenagers and has worked with more than 7,000 youth through special events and programs. The Institute’s after-school youth program recently received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama, who noted the importance of art in shaping children’s characters and teaching valuable skills.
Out of 350 applications from across the United States, only 12 were selected for the award, which is the highest honor an American after-school program can receive. The award recognizes community-based humanities and arts programs that are changing the lives of teenagers by helping them earn higher grades in school, learn life skills, and develop healthy relationships with adults and other youth. Romario Accime, a member of the ICA Teen Arts Council and a high school student, accepted the award for ICA at the ceremony at the White House.