Actors, musicians visit Congress for arts funding

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Associated Press + More

By STACY A. ANDERSON, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 the Arts. The nonprofit organization works to advance arts and arts education across the country.

[Read: Tony Bennett, Gavin DeGraw Lobby Congress to Save School Music.]

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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