Bradley Alum Honored by First Lady

David Howse '97 (right) and singer Amber Rodriguez (center) received the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. (Ralph Alswang)

By Matt Hawkins
November 25, 2013

A decade of service to the Boston Children’s Chorus earned BCC Executive Director David Howse ’97 a 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. The award, given by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House, honored 13 organizations.

“It’s extraordinary anytime your work is recognized nationally, nonetheless by the First Lady,” Howse said. “I’m excited and proud to represent youth arts across the country and organizations committed to building character, arts and a sense of community in society.”

The honor also served as an encouragement to supporters of the arts who struggle to keep programs funded.

“This recognition sends a strong message to the nation about investing in arts and youth,” Howse said. “It adds so much to kids lives and arts are being threatened in so many communities.”

Howse worked for BCC from its 2003 inception and became executive director in 2009. The organization has grown from a 30-student pilot program to 12 choirs and more than 500 students.

BCC uses the arts to both train students musically and work for social justice. The dual focus enabled BCC to find its niche for growth.

“We worked hard to build trust with families and in the community,” Howse said. “We have a strong music education program and a social justice engine. We bring diverse groups together for the purpose of understanding others.”

All BCC participants have continued education at the collegiate level.