writing.jpgA citywide writing project received recognition Wednesday with a prestigious national award from the White House, the San Francisco Arts Commission said. The ceremony took place at the White House Wednesday.

First lady Michelle Obama recognized WritersCorps, a joint youth writing program of the arts commission and the San Francisco Public Library, for its achievement in fostering creativity and academic success by engaging young people in the arts and humanities.

In addition to the award, WritersCorps, an after-school program, will also receive $10,000 to support its efforts.

Participant Nicole Zatarain Rivera, a 17-year-old senior at International Studies Academy, headed to the White House to accept the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award on behalf of the program.

Rivera, who writes poetry and short stories, was ecstatic following her meeting with the first lady.

“It was surreal,” Rivera said. “She was amazing and really warm-hearted.”

Rivera said Obama hugged all the awardees and was really down to earth.

Rivera and was accompanied by WritersCorps program manager Melissa Hung.

Though Rivera and Hung were scheduled to arrive back in the Bay Area Wednesday night, a private homecoming reception to celebrate the award is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. The reception will take place on the sixth floor Skylight Gallery of the San Francisco Main Library, located at 100 Larkin St.

Members of the media are invited to the reception. Those who wish to attend should R.S.V.P. to the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Kate Patterson at (415) 252-4638.

WritersCorps was chosen from more than 400 nominees nationwide.

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