The White House correspondents dinner tends to be a huge event in the Washington D.C area. What many non D.C residents may not know is that there’s the main dinner and there are are sprinkling of exclusive dinners connected to the big event. With many White house Correspondent parties getting cancelled, the Creative Coalition stepped up to open up their gala.
I had an exclusive invite this year to attend the 4th annual Creative Coalition #RightToBearArts gala on April 28, 2017. This star-studded event was held at Flavio DC, one of Georgetown’s premier Italian restaurants.
This year’s gala was relevant to the times, especially since the recent proposed budget cuts may eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and this program is responsible for kids across the nation to visit art museums, learn literature, music, theater, design and beyond. NEA is an independent federal agency that funds funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.
The event was attended by The Creative Coalition’s celebrity delegation headed to Capitol Hill earlier that day in an effort to bring their “#RightToBearArts” campaign to elected officials. The delegation was comprised of: Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”), The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, Sarah Wayne Callies (“Prison Break”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Chad Lowe (“Pretty Little Liars”), Alyssa Milano (“Mistresses”), Denis O’Hare (“American Horror Story”), Nick Sandow (“Orange Is the New Black”), Aaron Staton (“Mad Men”), and Matt Walsh (“Veep”).
Along with the delegation, leading Washingtonians, top celebrities, and media convened to dine on a delicious 3-course menu.
The sweltering heat, did not stop me from having some interesting one-on-one interviews with Chad Lowe, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Matt Walsh, and Sarah Wayne Callies.
Each star had their own views on federals cuts towards the arts. What we can all agree upon is that a slash to art funding will not only upend the nations future by depriving a healthy outlet for children to expand their minds but will also curb resources in poorer regions to be able to cultivate one’s critical thinking skills.
Question: What are your thoughts on the federal cuts to the arts programs?
Chad Lowe: So, ironically, enough the Federal Government wants to increase spending on Defense but wants to cut the Arts funding. Keep in mind spending for the arts is only just 0.004 percent of the budget. The federal government must set an example of prioritizing funding for the arts. What most people don’t realize is that the arts funding is not going directly, per se, to Hollywood. This funding goes directly to theaters, museums, dance classes, workshops, and other outlets that let children from all walks of life be able to participate in. Funding of the arts spreads to the greatness of the country and even secures our status as a great nation to the world. Where we are placed in the history books is how we value and treat our citizens. The arts shape history and also preserve our culture. The arts withstand the test of time by cultivating a society and enriching those to find their potential. By cutting out the arts from people’s lives, we are taking away a basic human necessity for further growth.
Matt Walsh: Money has been going into this infrastructure for quite some time. A contribution to the arts directly correlates with college enrollment, top university success, and with creative minds ready to embark on making a change for the world. Without enough resources for the arts, kids will not be able to develop stronger independence skills or be able to have the confidence to make their own path, whether if it’s in the arts field or elsewhere.
Wendi Mclendon-Covey: So we all went up to the Hill today to advocate for the Arts. This is unsurprising but both parties were on our side. There’s bipartisan support for having the arts.
Sarah Wayne Callies: The arts balances out children, adults, everyone. We need the arts in order to thrive as a collective society and to get even better.
This event was also sponsored by Hollywood on the Potomac, Maestro Dobel Tequila, Line 39 Wines,Blue Moon Brewing, and Blackwing Pencils.
About The Creative Coaltion
The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan social and political advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. Founded in 1989 by prominent figures in the creative community, including actors Alec Baldwin, Ron Silver, Christopher Reeve, Susan Sarandon and Blair Brown, TCC educates and mobilizes leaders in the arts community on issues of public importance, specifically in the areas of First Amendment rights, arts advocacy and public education.