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Michelle Obama, Janelle Monae Talk About Arts Education at Grammy Museum's Luncheon

July 17, 2014, 5:48 am GMT

The First Lady mentions the importance of arts education at the event, saying that for some youngsters it may be 'the only reason they get up out of bed in the morning' and go to school.



Michelle Obama discussed arts education as she attended the Grammy Museum's Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon on Wednesday, July 16 in Los Angeles. Speaking to the audience, which included Janelle Monae, First Lady mentioned the importance of arts education.

"For so many young people, arts education is the only reason they get up out of bed in the morning," she said, as quoted by L.A. Times. "Just like Janelle, they go to school each day because there's an instrument they want to play, a musical they want to perform in, a painting they are dying to finish. So then once they arrive in those classrooms, that's when we can teach them something else, like math and writing and science. That is the power of the arts for so many of our young people."

The Wednesday event was held to honor this year's Jane Ortner award recipient, a Placentia, Calif. teacher Sunshine Cavalluzzi, who uses music to teach economics. Monae was also saluted for inspiring young people to pursue education with her music and activities.

Speaking to the audience, Monae opened up about her life as a young girl in a lower-income family in Kansas City, Kans. "Music helped me deal with my emotions. I was able to write a song or perform or write a short story," she said, as quoted by Billboard. The singer then thanked her fifth grade teacher, a music teacher and her mother who took her to various talent competitions.

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