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Julie Andrews and daughter Emma Walton Hamilton wrote an op-ed column for CNN on Thursday, imploring elected representatives and individuals to rescue the arts from budget cuts.
President Trump’s first federal budget plan was released earlier in the day and called for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, among other proposed cuts.
“Decades worth of research attests to the fact that the arts are among the most profoundly important and valuable ways to improve learning and promote success, from early childhood through adulthood,” wrote Andrews and Walton Hamilton in their joint op-ed. “Now, with the shifting priorities of our new presidential administration, artists and arts organizations are at serious risk of losing the support they need to do their invaluable work.”
The mother-and-daughter team highlight that “poor, inner-city and rural communities” often shoulder a disproportionate share of the losses, especially when their access to resources are scarce to begin with.
“Julie has heard from countless people over the decades who believe their lives were enriched by the inspiration, comfort and sense of connection they received from the music, stories, films and productions in which she was fortunate enough to participate,” wrote the women.
“The arts are fundamental to our common humanity,” continued Andrews and Walton Hamilton, listing specific examples of young people who have improved their academic record and careers through the arts. “Every time we attend the theater, a museum or a concert, we are literally feeding our souls, and investing in and preserving our collective future.”
Andrews and Walton Hamilton asked “every member of our society” to “do everything possible to preserve and advance this most precious and essential resource” while also demanding the same of elected officials.
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