EXPRESS YOURSELF RECEIVES COMING UP TALLER AWARD IN

WASHINGTON, D.C

             (WASHINGTON, D.C.) Express Yourself, a Beverly, Mass. program that immerses young
             people into the creative world of music, dance and visual arts, is being nationally recognized
             as one of 15 youth arts and humanities programs to receive the prestigious 2009 Coming Up
             Taller Award. Youth and adult representatives of the program will travel to Washington,
             D.C., for a ceremony on November 4 at 2:30p.m., where they will accept the award.
             
             Coming Up Taller is a national initiative that recognizes and supports outstanding out-ofschool
             and after-school arts and humanities programs for children, especially those with great
             potential, but limited outlets for creative expression. A project of the President’s Committee
             on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), in partnership with the National Endowment for the
             Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum
             and Library Services (IMLS), the Coming Up Taller Awards honor programs that offer
             exceptional learning experiences in the arts and the humanities and that have a tangible effect
             on the lives of young people as evidenced through improved academic scores, enhanced life
             skills, and positive relationships with peers and adults.
             
             Express Yourself immerses young people into the creative world of music, dance and visual
             arts and empowers these youth with life changing results. Express Yourself celebrates cultural
             diversity and collaboration with isolated youth from 17 Department of Mental Health
             residential and inpatient facilities who form their own large community. Since 1989, over
             2,200 youth in newly created communities have worked collaboratively with artists and
             celebrities such as Blue Man Group, STOMP, Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops,
             and Broadway dancers in a culminating performance at the Citi Performing Arts Center in
             Boston. Youth and artists become inspired during a full year program creating set designs,
             visual art, and performance pieces for their grand celebration followed by exhibition at
             Endicott College’s Center for the Arts.
            
             “The most amazing thing about winning this award is seeing the exuberance of these youth
             being celebrated,” said Paula Conrad, co executive director, Express Yourself. “Children who
             are not normally seen and heard for their strengths, have a voice and a presence that is valued
             through winning this award,” noted Stan Strickland, co executive director, Express Yourself.
            
              “This year's Coming Up Taller Awardees exemplify how arts and humanities programs
             outside of the school setting can impact on the lives of our young people,” says Margo Lion,
             Co-Chairman, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. “By exciting
             imaginations and providing opportunities for self-expression through the disciplines of theater,
             dance, music and literature these exceptional projects offer their participants windows on
             possibility and a belief in a more positive future.”
             
             The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities 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. 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.