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Creative Coalition Blasts Trump Arts Budget Cuts as ‘Extreme,’ Urges Congress to ‘Reject It’

”We must stand up for the right to maintain an imaginative and expressive population,“ says president Tim Daly

The Creative Coalition — a nonprofit advocacy group formed by members of the American entertainment industry — has come out punching hard against President Trump’s budget proposal that calls for the defunding of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

In a statement released Thursday, the Coalition blasts Trump’s planned cuts as “extreme” and “calls on the bipartisan supporters of the arts in Congress to overwhelmingly reject it.”

Actor Tim Daly ( best known for the NBC sitcom “Wings”), who serves as the Coalition’s president, said: “The time has come for all Americans to stand up and call for the Right to Bear Arts™. We must stand up for the right to maintain an imaginative and expressive population. And we must prevent these draconian funding cuts for the NEA from becoming a devastating reality. We cannot afford to dismiss the arts as something expendable, an unnecessary luxury or treat it as something extra, like dessert. The arts must be part of the main course.”

Actors, including Patricia Arquette, Rob Lowe, Alfre Woodard, Marlon Wayans, Omar Epps and Cheryl Hines, currently serve as Coalition board members.

“How does eliminating funding for the arts make America great?”added Robin Bronk, CEO of the Coalition. “It is the arts that remind us what is great about America and inspire us to make our world a better place.

“Eliminating funding for the NEA will not hurt Broadway or Hollywood, but it hurts small town theaters, museums and community arts organizations. It hurts our wounded warriors who experience the healing power of the arts through their participation in NEA funded creative arts therapies. Without the NEA there will be less creativity, less imagination and less freedom of expression and that hurts all of us.”

The Corporation of Public Broadcasting currently has a budget of $445 million, while the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities each have a budget of $148 million. Combined, they comprise less than 0.02 percent of the $4.6 trillion federal budget.

Hollywood stars have also spoken out against the proposed cuts, with actor Mark Ruffalo denouncing it as “ripped from [Steve] Bannon’s nationalistic playbook” and Julie Andrews calling it “mind-boggling” in an open letter published on CNN.

The Actor’s Equity Association also recently chimed in, with president Kate Shindle urging “government leaders to continue funding the arts.”