Kids took the stage and celebrities sat in the audience as the first lady presented the awards in an East Room ceremony on Wednesday.
Mrs. Obama said the programs teach young people that "each of them has something of value to contribute."
The award is presented on behalf of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with three national cultural agencies.
The committee includes a number of celebrities, and some of them were on hand for the White House awards ceremony. Those spotted in the crowd included Sarah Jessica Parker, Forest Whitaker and Kerry Washington.