The President and Mrs. Obama will host a celebration of American poetry and prose by welcoming accomplished poets, musicians and artists as well as students from across the country to the White House. Participants include Elizabeth Alexander, Billy Collins, Common (whose White House invite sparked some ridiculous outrage), Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Aimee Mann and Jill Scott who will read, sing, and showcase the impact of poetry on American culture. The President will make opening remarks at this event held in the East Room, which will be pooled press and streamed live starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.
As part of this special event, Mrs. Obama will host a daytime workshop for hundreds of students from California to New York on May 11th at 2:00 p.m. ET, where students will work with and learn from many of the evening's performers. First Lady Michelle Obama and administration officials will deliver brief remarks to highlight a new study detailing the importance of arts education. This event will be streamed live and students all over the country will be invited to watch the workshop.