December 12, 2012

Artist Instructor Sergio Alonso (left), youth recipient Ernesto Lazaro, and First Lady Michelle Obama.City of San Fernando’s Master Apprentice Mariachi Program received the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award, awarded at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama.  The award recognizes after-school and out-of-school programs that use engagement in the arts and the humanities to increase academic achievement, graduation rates, and college enrollment, as well as improve literacy and language abilities, communication and performance skills, and cultural awareness.

Members of the Mariachi Master Apprentice Program (MMAP) traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive the award and perform at the White House.  MMAP unites world-class mariachi masters with community youth ages 10-18 for weekly sessions, providing professional instrumental technique development, vocal coaching, music theory education, and performance etiquette, while also enhancing repertoire that emphasizes the traditional and popular mariachi music forms.  MMAP is a current and past grantee of ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program.

Visit the White House’s website to view a video of the award presentation, including a performance by Mariachi Tesoro de San Ferando beginning at 32:00.