Remarks by the First Lady at Cooper Hewitt Design Awards Luncheon

But all of you share the same relentless commitment to excellence.  Each of you practices your craft at the intersection of art and science, form and function — grounding inspiration and innovation in fundamental principles of math and physics and engineering.

The great jazz musician Miles Davis, one of my husband’s favorites, once said, “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”  And I think that’s pretty much a good description of what each of you does every day.  You’re really playing what’s not there.

And I know that just today — and I heard just a little bit — you guys did something amazing.  You really raised the bar.  And that’s exactly what we were hoping you’d do.  You took part in a Teen Design Fair — it’s really fabulous, I can’t wait to hear more of the details — that occurred right here in Washington to help introduce what I believe were more than 400 young people to careers in design.  And I know that many of you are involved in similar efforts like this back at home where you live and work.

And we know the impact that experiences like this can have on the life of our young people — giving them role models for success and exposing them to new possibilities, helping give them direction and shape their dreams.

But we also know that far too few young people in this country have access to programs and opportunities like the one we did today.  Even those who live just minutes from our great museums and cultural centers may feel like these resources are far beyond their reach.

Читайте также:  Началась регистрация участников The Hotel Show

And I’ve got a partner in that effort, standing behind me.  I’m pleased to have the honor of introducing Dr. Wayne Clough, as you know, the head of our nation’s Smithsonian Institution, someone who shares the same mission.  And we were just talking about his travels, his works, his meetings with Secretary Duncan to do more to make sure that the experiences of the Smithsonian are available to kids living in the most remote places right here in this country.

And he has brought to this current role that passion for art and science, and that embrace of both that makes our past and future one.

And during his time at the helm of the Smithsonian, he’s worked tirelessly to ensure that as many people as possible — particularly our young people — can benefit from everything this national treasure has to offer.