Marianna Bottier, a 15-year-old from RTKids, is representing the organization by receiving the award at The White House this afternoon.
"Rosie’s Theater Kids changed my life for the better," said Bottier in an earlier statement. "I am incredibly grateful to be a part of the program. It is such an honor to be here and it is heartwarming to know that RTKids, and programs like RTKids, are recognized and valued."
With the award, RTKids is receiving $10,000 to support its programming. Founded in 2003, it is one of the largest arts-in-education programs serving New York City public schools with all services free of charge. More than 82 percent of RTKids students are from low-income communities. For more information visit RosiesTheaterKids.org. "We hope this award will draw attention to the documented fact that programs like ours are essential investments not just in the lives of our young people, but in our community, as well," co-founder and artistic director Lori Klinger also commented.
Since 1998, the annual prize recognizes the country's best creative youth development programs and their effectiveness in promoting learning and life skills in young people. They are also rewarded for improving literacy and language abilities, communication and performance skills and cultural awareness. The awardees are selected from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists.
The 2015 awardees are:
ACTE II (A Commitment to Excellence)
Rosie’s Theater Kids, Inc. New York, NY
Action Arts and Science Program
Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science Sioux Falls, SD
Armory Center for the Arts Pasadena, CA
CityDance DREAM Program
CityDance, Inc. Washington, D.C.
Spy Hop Productions
Salt Lake City, UT
Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Community Partnership Programs
Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Inc.
Summer Teen Docent Program
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Inc. New Orleans, LA
ArtMix, Inc. Indianapolis, IN
The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Inc. Brooklyn, NY
Young Author Project
Deep Center, Inc. Savannah, GA
Young Writers & Leaders
The Telling Room Portland, ME
Youth Mentoring Program
Caldera Portland, OR