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First Lady Michelle Obama Honors Texas Latino Art Museum For Youth Development Program

Courtesy of  LatinTimes .

Courtesy of LatinTimes.

Michelle Obama has been praised throughout her family's reign over the White House for her amazing efforts within youth development over the country. Now, as the first family prepares to leave an impressive legacy behind, the first lady is honoring a Latino museum for their strides in bridging the gap between the youth and the arts.

According to FOX News Latino, the Mexic-Arte Museum in Downtown Austin, Texas will be honored with the nation's highest achievement for creative youth development programs. 

Known for its display of Latin art, culture and history, Mexic-Arte Museum has been providing thousands of students the opportunity to learn techniques and skills within art.

The "Screen It!" program teaches screen printing to students of various ages, usually 10 to 17, and the purpose of the program is to bring this new art technique into their classroom." Olivia Tamzarian, an education coordinator for Mexic-Arte Museum, said. "What a lot of people don't realize is, this art form has a strong tie to the Latino community, so screen printing is a way of spreading a message."

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Binational art program empowers teens - #SayItWithoutShame

FOCUS: Binational Showcase is a binational arts program run by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and Museo Tamayo take to the streets to work collaboratively in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Mexico City.   Courtesy photo

FOCUS: Binational Showcase is a binational arts program run by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and Museo Tamayo take to the streets to work collaboratively in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Mexico City. Courtesy photo

SAN DIEGO — At 17, Marissa Bennett admits her perception of violence is probably stereotypical.

“Physical violence,” she said. “That’s what I think of when I hear the word ‘violence.’ It’s what we see on TV, in video games and the movies.”

That changed when she became part of an arts program for youth on both sides of the border. Youth Empowerment through Social Practice Art: Strategies for Coping with Violence and Trauma is a partnership between the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. The yearlong collaboration — funded by the Museums Connect program run by American Alliance of Museums — allowed teens to participate in online forums, artist lectures, community interactions and weeklong cross-border visits to explore how art can effect social change.

The results of the binational project will be presented in a three-day exhibition called “FOCUS: Binational Showcase” that opens Friday at MCASD’s downtown location.

“Violence is more than just the physical. It can be emotional violence, psychological violence,” said Bennett, who’s graduating from West Hills High School in Santee and headed for UCLA to pursue an art degree.

Bennett’s artwork — in her case, photography — will be among those featured in the exhibition that will showcase work by 22 teenagers from San Diego and Mexico City. The show will present art in various media, including video installations and sculptural works. A social media hashtag was employed, too: #sayitwithoutshame.

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