Mexic-Arte Museum honored at White House ceremony

Updated Nov 15, 2016

Austin’s Mexic-Arte Museum was one of 12 organizations honored Tuesday at the White House by first lady Michelle Obama with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

The museum was recognized for its “Screen It” program, which introduces at-risk students to the basics of screen printing, entrepreneurial skills and the legacy that screen printing has within the Mexican-American cultural community. The program serves more than 2,000 students each year.

“These kids represent the very best of America, and they remind us of who we all really are,” Obama said in her introduction to the ceremony, which was webcast live. “We’re a country that believes in our young people — all of them. We believe that each of these young people are a vital part of the American story. That’s the power of programs like these; that’s the message they provide.”

The award, an initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, grants each recipient $10,000.

The 12 winners were chosen from a pool of more than 251 nominations and 50 finalists from across the United States.

Representing Mexic-Arte at the White House was museum education coordinator Olivia Tamzarian and Kassey Rocha, 19, who has participated in the “Screen It” program for several years.