Michelle Obama Stresses Art for Kids in Harper's Bazaar November 2010

ArtTracker| First Lady Michelle Obama focuses on the importance of the arts for young people, in her Harper’s Bazaar Nov. 2010 interview.

“I was fortunate to grow up in a family that appreciates music,” she observes. “My maternal grandfather, we called him South Side, was a big jazz-music collector. He would play jazz 24 hours a day. As my mother said, when she was growing up, ‘You learn to sleep through jazz.’

Michelle Obama’s father sculpted and painted, spending a lot of time at the Art Institute of Chicago. Had he not been a father of young kids, fighting the reality of his multiple schlerosis, he would have preferred to be an artist, says the First Lady.

Young artists have flourished at the White House, under Mrs. Obama’s tutelege. The universality of artistic culture binds peoples, says Michelle.

Mrs. Obama has the rare power to make careers. “It is powerful to see a Jason Yoder [a teenage percussionist], who is adorable. I first saw him in Pittsburgh at the first G-20 Summit that we hosted. Jason played this amazing duet with Yo-Yo Ma—breathtaking. To see all of the spouses of the world leaders just sitting in awe and tearing up over this display in a public school in America, it was pretty powerful.” via Bazaar

Jason Yoder performing with Yo-Ma-Ma at the Pittsburgh CAPA G-20 Event

More reading:

For Smarter Brains in Kids, Add a Heavy Dose of Art and Creative Experience (Mrs. Obama speaks on video)