Michelle Obama Highlights Arts Education and Cultural Diplomacy at G-20 Conference
First Lady Highlights Arts Education, Cultural Diplomacy at G-20 Conference
Associated Press, 9/25/09
"First Lady Michelle Obama, a supporter of arts education, says the arts are a form of diplomacy that challenges assumptions and helps people learn from and inspire each other. Underscoring her point, she spoke at the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School [CAPA]…'It is through our music, our literature, our art, drama, and dance that we tell the story of our past and we express our hopes for the future,' Mrs. Obama said [on September 25], the final day of an international summit at which she introduced her foreign counterparts to some of her interests, including the arts and arts education. 'Our artists challenge our assumptions in ways that many cannot and do not,' she said. 'They expand our understandings, and push us to view our world in new and very unexpected ways.' Mrs. Obama said CAPA was the perfect place to introduce her guests to what she described as some of the most creative and accomplished young people her country has to offer. The arts, she said, aren't just for people with spare time and money. She said arts education literally helps youngsters find their voices and develop their talents. She also noted the tradition whereby the spouses of world leaders forge bonds by sharing the arts—music, dance, and culture—during international visits. 'It's through this constant exchange…that we learn from each other and we inspire each other,' the first lady said. 'It is a form of diplomacy in which we can all take part.'"