Actors, musicians visit Congress for arts funding

By Stacy A. Anderson

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, April 17 2012 11:45 a.m. MDT

Alec Baldwin gestures during an interview with The Associated Press in Washington, Monday, April 16, 2012, Alec Baldwin is going to Congress to ask for sustained federal funding for arts programs amid the ever tight budget climate.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Celebrities including Alec Baldwin visited Capitol Hill Tuesday to shine their spotlight on federal funding for the arts.

Baldwin and others including actors Hill Harper, Melina Kanakaredes, Tiffani Thiessen and singers Ben Folds and Clay Walker are part of the artistic delegation for Americans for Arts. The nonprofit organization works to advance arts and arts education across the country.

Baldwin told a news conference that the arts stimulate children's education.

With about $147 million in federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts this year, the group hopes to increase funding to $155 million next year.

Folds, who met with Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., to press for funding, credited art programs at public schools for his success today. The musician said the arts provide children with a "well-balanced curriculum."

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