The First Lady, Michelle Obama at Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014
img_1827.jpgJanelle Monáe Artist Award Recipent

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img_1557.jpgChuck Ortner   More Photo



img_1594.jpgSunshine Cavalluzzi Award Recipent More Photo

Bob Santelli Executive Director, GRAMMY Museum   More Photo

Faith Evans More Photo


img_1612.jpgMayor Eric Garcetti   More Photo


img_1620.jpgNeil Portnow of The GRAMMYs

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Article by: Bridgid Brousseau


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“Arts are a way to channel pain and frustration into something meaningful, productive and beautiful and every human being needs that, particularly our kids. ~First Lady Michelle Obama~ 

The GRAMMY Museum’s Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon was held Wednesday, July 16, 2014.  First Lady Michelle Obama was this year’s special keynote speaker at the private luncheon held at Club Nokia L.A. Live.   Her message was powerfully succinct as she continues to encourage and empower our younger generations to whole-heartedly strive towards one’s goals. She also stressed the crucial importance of music education being a requirement in our schools curriculum. Our First Lady emphasized the importance of art and music classes within education. ”Six million American children attend schools with no art or music classes.  When they don’t have that outlet, it’s such a tremendous loss, not just for our kids but for our nation.”

This sentiment was echoed by Janelle Monáe who attributed much of her success to having music in her life. She spoke of how music served as a way to release and to deal with her emotions. The luncheon honored the Grammy-nominated musician with this year’s Jane Ortner Artist Award.  Janelle spoke about how music assisted her, as it does many young people in the learning process.  Janelle also gave a special performance of several of her hit songs which included “Tightrope,” one of our First Lady Michelle Obama’s favorites.

Jane Ortner was an extraordinary beloved public school teacher who brought music into her classrooms, not as a music teacher, but as a teacher who recognized the power of music to enhance the educational learning process of all children. Also speaking at the luncheon were Chuck Ortner, GRAMMY Museum Board Member and Bob Santelli, Executive Director, GRAMMY Museum.

Teacher, Sunshine Cavalluzzi has carried on the teaching tradition of Jane Ortner.  Sunshine was awarded this year’s Jane Ortner Education Award which recognizes teachers of core subjects who use music as a teaching tool in their non-musical classes.

Providing additional entertainment were The GRAMMY Museum Student Musicians: Tatiyanna Belllo, Kafira Lefi, Schyler O ‘Neal and Kennady Tracy all of whom spoke of how music education has impacted  their lives and continues to enrich, empower and inspire them to  follow their hearts, their life paths and  fulfill their dreams.

img_1512.jpgSchyler O’Neal, Kennady Tracy, Kadira Lefi and Tatiyanna Bello

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The 2014 GRAMMY Museum‘s Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon sends a poignant message to all because as French philosopher C.A. Helvetius would say, “l’education  nous faisait ce que nous sommes”. Translation; education makes us what we are.


Photo: A student jazz trio performs for our guests at the Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon! #joealPerformance student Jazz Trio: Corbin Jones, David Otis and Bradford Tidwell