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Caldera Honored at White House

Caldera was selected as one of 12 creative youth development organizations to receive a 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program (NAHYP) Award from First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House Award Ceremony on November 17, 2015.

Caldera is the first organization in Oregon to ever receive this award. The 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for creative youth programs, recognizing the country’s best programs as well as highlighting the positive role that arts and humanities play in youth academic achievement, graduation rates and college enrollment. The awardees—chosen from a pool of more than 285 nominations and 50 finalists from 50 states—were also recognized for improving literacy, language abilities, communication, performance skills and cultural awareness.

In addition to the national recognition bestowed by the prestigious award, Caldera will also receive $10,000 to support its programming and build the long-term sustainability of the organization.

“This award inspires all of us at Caldera—youth, staff, board, volunteers, supporters—to reach for new heights in our work. We are in this work for the long term, and we are excited to learn about and from the other awardees,” said Caldera Executive Director Tricia Snell. “We are so proud of this recognition, not only for how it reflects on Caldera youth and all the folks who have supported Caldera in the past, but for what it portends for our long-term ability to mentor underserved youth through the arts. We also hope that the award will shine a light on the amazing things young people can achieve through the arts, through humanities, through caring adult mentoring and through immersion in nature. Providing this to every child is an investment not only in those individual young people, but in our entire society.”

Oregon Governor Kate Brown expressed her enthusiastic support for Caldera: “By engaging and inspiring young people, Caldera is giving them not just the vision but the skills to build a new and better life for themselves, for their families, and for our community. These young people are learning how to use creative thinking to work as a team, to solve problems and to express themselves constructively. These are exactly the kinds of skills we want them to have to be able to succeed in school, in work and in life.”

Beyond their award-winning youth programs, Caldera is home to an international artists residency which offers month-long residencies from January through March. The program offers creative individuals time and space for developing new work - set in the scenic foothills of the Cascade Mountains near Sisters, Oregon. Read more about the residency here.

About the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs. The awards recognizes and supports outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression and achievement outside of the regular school day. These programs excite and engage a range of students, cultivating imagination, collaboration, discipline and academic success, with demonstrable results. They also provide safe harbors after school, on weekends and in the evenings for children and youth in some of our country’s most at-risk urban and rural settings. For more information about the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards and the full list of 2015 award recipients, visit