Posts tagged with "michelle obama":

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Frank Gehry donates $1 million to Los Angeles River schools for arts education

Turnaround Arts: California recently announced a $1 million donation from architect Frank Gehry. A leading figure behind the proposed redesign of the Los Angeles River into a mixed-use district with substantial parkland, Gehry will direct his donation towards underserved communities abutting the river just south of Los Angeles. As he said in a statement, "I have been working on the Los Angeles River, and through this work, I have discovered the great need for this program in the districts closest to the river, especially south of the city of Los Angeles." Founded in 2014 by Malissa Shriver and Frank Gehry, Turnaround Arts: California is the state chapter of a larger initiative championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Coordinated by The Kennedy Center, Turnaround Arts strives to improve academic performance and improve schools through the arts by providing arts education to nearly one hundred underperforming schools in seventeen states and Washington D.C. With Gehry's donation being matched by an anonymous donor, Turnaround Arts: California’s program will be extended to ten more schools in the next five years, with the first of these three participating as of April 16. In total, 17,000 K-8 students in California will now be served by educational programs led by Turnaround Arts. In a statement, Gehry added, "Over the last forty years, I’ve spent time with kids in the classroom using architecture and art to get them engaged, focus their attention, and even introduce mathematics, civics, and other subjects that they might not have otherwise been receptive to."
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Thom Mayne’s mentoring program is featured in showcase at Pratt

The educational mentorship program spearheaded by Morphosis principal and co-founder Thom Mayne headed into its third semester this year. For sixth graders at Hall Elementary School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the Thom Mayne Young Architects program was a chance to receive an architectural education and access to design software via after-school classes led by Pratt Institute architecture students. Tonight, Mayne himself will host a closing reception of their final projects from last semester at Pratt Institute's Higgins Hall, beginning at 6pm. Founded in 2017, the Thom Mayne Young Architects program was spurred by Mayne's participation in President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Mayne partnered with TurnAround Arts, a 2012 program launched by Michelle Obama and the president's committee to bring arts education to the bottom five percent performing public schools, which includes Hall Elementary. The sixth grade students have been working on a site close to home–their own classrooms. Their design prompt is to create a "beautification proposal" for their classrooms. In the course of the 12-week program, students learn about design thinking, architectural design fundamentals and computer design, aided by the donation of Pixelbook laptops loaded with design software by Google. Beyond design skills, the program also includes lessons about photo editing, branding, marketing, and budgeting. The exhibit, which opened on February 12, closes on Saturday, February 17.  
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Michelle Obama added as keynote speaker for AIA National Conference on Architecture 2017

Lawyer, writer, and former First Lady Michelle Obama has been added to the lineup of keynote speakers for the 2017 American Institute of Architects (AIA) conference in Orlando, Florida. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon via email to AIA members.

Obama joins architects Alejandro Aravena, Nora Demeter, Dr. Eve Edelstein, Elizabeth Diller, Michael Ford, Francis Kéré, and Michael Murphy, among others, scheduled to speak at the three-day conference taking place April 27 to 29, 2017.

See below for text from speaker webpage on the AIA conference website.

Michelle Obama

 Lawyer, writer, & former First Lady

Over the last eight years while in the White House, former First Lady Michelle Obama has worked tirelessly to champion a number of important initiatives designed to make our world a better place. Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017, transforming the position and becoming a role model, champion, and inspiration for women, families, and young people across America and around the world. As First Lady, Mrs. Obama launched and led four key initiatives:
  • Let’s Move! brought together community leaders, educators, medical professionals, parents, celebrities, and others in a nationwide effort to address the challenge of childhood obesity;
  • Joining Forces, which she launched with Dr. Jill Biden, called on all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities;
  • Reach Higher aimed to inspire young people across America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university;
  • Let Girls Learn, focused on helping adolescent girls around the world go to school.

Mrs. Obama attended Chicago public schools until enrolling in Princeton, where she studied sociology and African American studies. She graduated cum laude from Princeton in 1985 and received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. She then joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama.Following her time at Sidley & Austin, Mrs. Obama served as an assistant to Mayor Richard Daley and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development for the city of Chicago, before becoming the founding Executive Director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares young people for public service careers.As part of her continued focus on community service and engagement, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago in 1996 as its Associate Dean of Student Services focused on fostering connections between the campus and community. She also served as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.Mrs. Obama was born on January 17, 1964. She married Barack Obama in 1992. They currently live in Washington, DC and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

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Mayne Street

Granted he's won the Pritzker Prize and had a string of recent successes, but all the same we were more than surprised to get a forwarded White House press release from Morphosis today touting the appointment of Thom Mayne, one of the industry's gruffer individuals, to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. He is the only practicing architect on the list. Created in 1982, the committee, according to its website, brings, well, the arts and humanities into the White House. Headed by the First Lady, activities under the previous administration included an "unprecedented" cultural exchange with China, a "bi-national cultural communique" with Mexico, and the creation of the Coming Up Taller awards to honor school-age artists. Of the 24 other committee members, there is one other architect, Christine Forester, though she has left the field for marketing and branding in the 1980s according to the release. Noted green guy and urban thinker Ed Norten is also a committee member, as are other notables Teresa Heinz Kerry, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington, Forest Whitaker, and Anna Wintour. And despite our initial suspicions, a search of public records show no political contributions on behalf of Mayne.
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If Not President-Elect, Architect?

Not since Thomas Jefferson have AN readers had such an advocate in the Oval Office! In a piece timed with Barack and Michelle Obama's historic White House visit today, the UK's Telegraph has a list of 50 things you might not know about our President-Elect. And this little nugget caught our Eavesdrop eye:
He would have liked to have been an architect if he were not a politician.
Now we know the Obamas would definitely be interested in some redecorating ideas from the AN-sponsored White House Redux competition. Perhaps Jorge Rocha Antunes' proposal (above) where the White House is encased in an artificially-produced living organism?