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White House Honors History Museum's Teen Program

Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio
The 13 Teens Make History Players spent their summer performing at the Missouri History Museum.

The Missouri History Museum's Teens Make History program was honored today with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

Part of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the National Arts award recognizes creative youth development programs that engage students in the arts and humanities. Teens Make History is one of 12 after-school programs being honored.

(See the Missouri History Museum award around the 50-minute mark.)

In July, "St. Louis on the Air" talked to teen actors Amesha Payne and Romiyus Gause and program coordinator Ellen Kuhn about their work with Teens Make History. Program participants research, design and mount exhibits at the museum. This summer's play dealt with gang violence in the city, an issue that many said affected their day-to-day lives. Payne's father was murdered when she was 7 months old.

"My father had been in this gang for so long, probably since he was 13," Payne said. "It's been very hard as a teenager — you see the father-daughter dances and you don't have a father to dance with."

Learn more about the summer program.

Payne and program director Elizabeth Pickard were at the White House today to accept the award. The Missouri History Museum program will receive $10,000 and a year of support from the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Teens Make History is accepting applications for its 2015 academy; the deadline is Nov. 21. The application deadline for the 2014National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is Feb. 10.

“St. Louis on the Air” discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.

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