Photo Essay

  • Students from the Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Boston perform during the White House Talent Show in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, on May 20, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama takes a selfie on stage with a student from the ReNew Cultural Arts Academy from New Orleans during the White House Talent Show hosted by first lady Michelle Obama and the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, on May 20, 2014 in Washington.
  • First lady Michelle Obama dances with students from turn around schools during a talent show at the East Room of the White House on May 20, 2014 in Washington, DC.
  • Actress Sarah Jessica Parker (3rd L) participates with students from Martin Luther King, Jr. School in Portland, Oregan, during a talent show at the East Room of the White House May 20, 2014 in Washington, DC.
  • Students from the Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Boston perform during the White House Talent Show in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, on May 20, 2014.
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White House hosts its first talent show

Updated

The White House held its first-ever talent show for students on Tuesday afternoon. The event was hosted by first lady Michelle Obama and the president’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. It was a part of the Turnaround: Arts program, a public-private partnership with the aim of using arts to narrow the achievement gap in schools within communities that have a high poverty rate.

But these weren’t your average student performances – the quality was more Rushmore than Waiting For Guffman. Several celebrities even made appearances, including Sarah Jessica Parker and Alfre Woodard.

During her opening remarks the first lady told attendees, “The Turnaround: Arts program has exceeded, not just our expectations, but our wildest hopes and dreams.” She noted it has helped lead to an increase in attendance and enrollment for at-risk students, as well as more engagement from parents in their children’s education.

The student performances included plenty of song and dance, as well as remarks from students who have benefitted from the program.

The president himself made a surprise appearance at the end of the ceremony joining the students who were sharing the stage with the first lady.

After hugging several kids, he joked, “I’ve got some talent, but I wasn’t invited to be a part of the show!”