Tim Daly is Creative co-president

Nonpartistan group puts celebrity power behind issues

NEW YORK -- Actor/director/producer Tim Daly has been named co-president of the Creative Coalition, a nonpartistan group that brings celebrity power to issues like health care reform and arts funding.

Daly, who appears on ABC's "Private Practice," will serve as co-president along with actor/director Tony Goldwyn. Goldwyn has held office with the Creative Coalition since 2004. Daly will lead the coalition's Hollywood delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Denver next week and hopes to get the time off to attend the Republican National Convention in early September.

The actor and longtime activist for arts education in the public schools got involved with the Creative Coalition about a year and a half ago.

"I'm a passionate advocate and the product of someone who believes in the arts and believes that art is a vital and crucial part of any culture and civilization," Daly said. "I felt it was a natural place for me to get involved."

He said that arts education isn't an extra but instead should be part of the core curriculum, and that studies have shown that students who are involved in the arts have better test scores and better attendance and graduation rates.

"They are spinach. They are not dessert," Daly said of arts education. He said that arts advocacy hasn't gotten the attention that it deserves in the campaign.