Isoke Senghor, 14, gets a hug from first lady Michelle Obama at the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. Senghor, representing the Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy in Brooklyn, N. Y., was presented with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama praised the power of the arts to change young people’s lives as she helped hand out awards to 13 programs, including one from her Chicago hometown.

The first lady says the work these after-school and out-of-school programs are doing shows the importance of funding the arts.

The Storycatchers program in Chicago teaches incarcerated or detained adolescents to write, produce and perform original musical theater inspired by their personal stories.

Other programs recognized with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award hail from Provincetown, Mass.; Boston; Buffalo, N.Y.; Washington; Baltimore; Newport News, Va.; El Paso, Texas; Dallas; Los Angeles and Nairobi, Kenya. Two programs are from Brooklyn, N.Y.

The awards are presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in partnership with three national cultural agencies.

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