By: Melissa Toupin
A big honor for a Providence youth program. Today the youth program at community arts center AS220 received recognition from the First Lady at the White House.
Each year hundreds of youth programs across the country apply for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. This afternoon 16-year-old Justin Espinal, a youth member, and program director Anne Kugler accepted the award on behalf of AS220.
AS220's youth program offers a free arts education that reaches over 450 young people ages 14-21 throughout Rhode Island. Many of the youth they work with are in the care or custody of the state.
It's a huge honor for the Providence program, which was chosen out of 350 submissions from across the country.
"There's a lot of hard work. There's a lot of effort, a lot of passion about what's being done. So it's really wonderful when it gets recognized– the commitment, the hard work and the passion by everybody involved," said AS220 Artistic Director Umberto Crenca.
AS220 is one of just 12 after school or out of school programs nation wide to receive the honor.