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Michelle Obama honors Wagner alumnus Jason Yoon and his nonprofit arts organization
NYU Wagner graduate Jason Yoon (MPA 2006) and New Urban Arts, the Providence, R.I., nonprofit organization he oversees as executive director, were honored by Michelle Obama at the White House on November 4, 2009. New Urban Arts, an interdisciplinary arts studio and gallery for high school students and emerging artists, was one of 15 youth arts and humanities programs nationwide to garner the prestigious 2009 Coming Up Taller Award from the First Lady.
Coming Up Taller is a project of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. It recognizes and supports outstanding out-of-school and after-school arts and humanities programs for children, especially those with great potential, but limited outlets for creative expression. Coming Up Taller Awards honor programs that offer exceptional learning experiences in the arts and the humanities and that have a tangible effect on the lives of young people as evidenced through improved academic scores, enhanced life skills, and positive relationships with peers and adults.
"This award," commented Yoon, "is a testament to all the amazing people who have contributed to our community over the past 13 years, particularly the incredible artists and young people who are the foundation."
On November 12, Yoon returned to the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University to participate in a panel discussion entitled "Careers in Arts and Culture."
The event was co-sponsored by Wagner's Office of Career Services, and Student Network Exploring Arts & Culture (SNEAC). Joining Yoon was Kenita Lloyd (Wagner MPA, 2009) who is Deputy Director of the Museum for African Art, as well as Mark Rossier, the Director of Development and Marketing for the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Michaella Holden, Assistant Director of Alumni Services and Special Events at Wagner, moderated the helpful and engaging discussion -- an opportunity for Wagner students to hear practitioners discussing their career paths and experiences.