Late Friday (9/25) on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, Mike Boehm writes, “Michelle Obama hosted a concert this morning at the Pittsburgh Creative & Performing Arts School for its students and the spouses of international leaders deliberating at the G-20 economic summit. She gave an 11-minute address about the arts as a prelude to performances by guests Sara Bareilles, Yo-Yo Ma and Trisha Yearwood. Here are excerpts from her speech, from a transcript issued by the White House: ‘We believe strongly that the arts aren’t somehow an “extra” part of our national life, but instead we feel that the arts are at the heart of our national life. It is through our music, our literature, our art, drama and dance that we tell the story of our past and we express our hopes for the future. … [T]he truth is, is that even though many….kids are living in Washington, D.C. and in cities across the country, just minutes away from the centers of culture and power and prestige, many of them feel like these resources are really miles away, very far beyond their reach. … And my husband and I are determined to help to bridge that distance. It is critical that we begin to bridge that distance.’ ”

Posted September 28, 2009