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Sue Bush
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Shakespeare In The Courts Headed To Washington, D.C. For National Recognition

12:00AM / Monday, January 22, 2007

Scene during a past "Shakespeare In the Courts" performance. Photo courtesy of Shakespeare In The Courts
Lenox - A renowned juvenile justice program launched by Berkshire Juvenile Court Judge Paul Perachi in conjunction with the Shakespeare and Company troupe will be among the community youth intiatives being honored by First Lady Laura Bush later this month.


Young people from specific communities across the U.S. and Mexico who engage in after-school arts and humanities programs that promote educational achievement and productive lives are expected to attend a ceremony for the 2006 Coming Up Taller Awards in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the East Room of the White House on Monday, January 22.

Shakespeare in the Courts, Lenox

Shakespeare in the Courts is a collaboration between Shakespeare & Company and Perachi and the Berkshire Juvenile Court in Pittsfield.
Over 100 juveniles, who participate in the performance program as part of their community service, have successfully completed the project since its inception. The participants rehearse three times a week and perform one of Shakespeare's plays, which is presented at the end of the project to families, friends and the media.

From student-produced radio programming in New York, NY, to performing arts steeped in Hispanic culture in Ft. Worth, TX, to an orchestra program that nurtures high academic achievement in Fremont, CA, the honored programs represent a diverse array of experiences that enable young people to nurture their interests under the disciplined and caring tutelage of educators and community leaders. All programs will receive $10,000 in honor of their accomplishments in enriching the lives of young people and their communities.

In addition to the Berkshires program, the honored programs are located in New York, NY, Chicago, IL, Charlotte, NC, Hope, AK, Newark, NJ, New Orleans, LA, Ft. Worth, TX, Birmingham, AL, Fremont, CA, Berkeley, CA, Haines, AK, Baltimore, MD, Washington, D.C. and Morelos and Campeche, Mexico.

Coming Up Taller

"Coming Up Taller gives us the chance to celebrate arts programs that are helping boys and girls develop their talents and find their own voices," said Mrs. Bush. "The programs we recognize with the Coming Up Taller awards bring caring adults into the lives of children so that these children can grow up to be successful and healthy adults themselves."

Coming Up Taller is an initiative of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). The President's Committee partners with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to administer the program, which was founded in 1998.


The Coming Up Taller Awards recognize and support outstanding community arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people, and provide them with new learning opportunities and opportunities to contribute to their communities. The awards also highlight the contributions that historians, scholars, librarians and visual and performing artists make to families and communities by mentoring children. More than 250 nominations were received by the program in 2006.

"The arts and humanities develop bright young people who will lead our nation in the future," said Adair Margo, Chairman, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. "Coming Up Taller recognizes the best of after-school and summer programs that engage youth in music, theatre, dance, photography, history and all kinds of enriching activities that help them realize their full potential as human beings."

Representatives of each program will be in Washington to accept the awards.

"Through the Coming Up Taller program, the President's Committee focuses national attention on exemplary programs that enhance the lives and learning of young people who are most at risk," said Henry Moran, Executive Director, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. "We believe our nation's future - our leaders, artists, writers, musicians, educators and entrepreneurs - depends on the investment these excellent programs make in the lives and talents of our youth."

The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) bridges the interests of federal agencies and the private sector, supports special projects that increase participation, and helps incorporate the humanities and the arts into White House objectives. Mrs. Laura Bush is the Honorary Chair of the PCAH.

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education.

Because democracy demands wisdom, the National Endowment for the Humanities serves and strengthens our Republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent federal grant making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners.




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