First lady honors Chicago Shakespeare Theater

  • Jennifer Guadalupe Gonzalez, right, plays Titania, and Michael Watkins plays Bottom in CPS Shakespeare! "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which ran Nov. 7 and 8, at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

    Jennifer Guadalupe Gonzalez, right, plays Titania, and Michael Watkins plays Bottom in CPS Shakespeare! "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which ran Nov. 7 and 8, at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. courtesy of Liz Lauren

 
 
Updated 11/10/2014 12:05 AM

Chicago Shakespeare Theater will receive the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest honor for after-school arts programs, during an official White House ceremony Monday.

First lady Michelle Obama will present the award, which recognizes CPS Shakespeare!, an arts education and literacy partnership with Chicago Public Schools. Established in 2006, the program introduces Shakespeare to at-risk students attending under-resourced schools. The students and their teachers work with CST professionals to produce a play on Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Navy Pier stage.

 

CST is one of 12 youth development programs honored this year for using arts and the humanities to promote academic success and improve graduation rates.

Education director Marilyn J. Halperin will accept the award alongside student representative Jennifer Guadalupe Gonzalez, a two-year participant in the program.

"CPS Shakespeare! has honestly transformed me," Gonzalez said in a prepared statement. "It has made me see who the real me is."

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