TODAY   |  October 13, 2010

A look at Michelle Obama’s passion for the arts

Laura Brown, of Harper’s Bazaar, discusses the first lady’s commitment to sharing and promoting the arts, especially among our nation’s youth.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the power to make careers and in the november issue of "harper's bazaar," michelle obama opens up about her passion for the arts and the next generation of performers. the special projects director. tell me about this article, the title of it is " michelle obama america's got talent." she's passionate about the arts and young people and promoting the two.

>> it's very much in ms. obama's dna, she's very much prior advertised the arts as being very important to her family. and what she wants the white house to be is to be a great forum for all these young performers because at the end of the day they're going to be shaping tomorrow.

>> she talks to you about the fact that when she was growing up, something i didn't know, her grandfather played jazz 24/7 and he dad had a lot of artistic abilities too, so it was ingrained in her as a young child.

>> her paternal grandfather would play jazz all the time. and her mom would say you need to learn to sleep through jazz, which i found was an amazing image. and her father used to paint before he got ill. it's from her past but she's bringing it all into the future in where she is now and the forum and the great stage she has in more ways than the one.

>> one of the the wonderful pictures is her with a group of dancers, and dancing is something relatively new that she brought in. what was that like?

>> it was the first-ever white house dance series that day. and you walk in and there's indian dancer in one corner and billy elliott twirling around in the other. she looked up in the morning and she said there was a dance series going on in the morning. so we have all these dances together and we combine the troops and the bangor motion dance, all these different cultures together, cross cultural exchange.

>> she's such an amazing influence on fashion, does she see her role in arts the same way, that she almost has an obligation to expose people to this?

>> mrs. obama is into young people , period, just in what she wears, she can make a designer's career. but her focus now is music. because some of them that come to the white house , they come with -- once they open those doors, and they perform for her, she can make their careers and she's very, very serious about that.

>> and she's also aware of the diplomatic role she can play.

>> the spouse program and basically the spouses often showcase music and dance to each other when they're away. she was saying when they were in france, she and the president gave a gibson guitar to carla bruni sarkozy . she's undergoing diplomacy in a a different way, but it's no less impactful.

>> paul mccartney who sang michelle and she said when she heard that, she said i can go home now. and i thought, you can, it's just upstairs.

>> the pictures of you are so great.

>> i was an honor to do it.

>> and your first time on the "today" show, many more.

>> bring it.

>> thank you very much. just ahead, fast and easy ways