Julie Andrews is speaking out against President Donald Trump’s “mind-boggling” plan to slash funding for the arts.
Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton wrote a powerful op-ed for CNN on Thursday, testifying to the cultural and economic importance of the arts and condemning Trump’s plan to cut funding.
This week, the president revealed his budget proposal for 2018, which includes massive cuts to the arts and completely eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which helps support PBS and NPR).
“This is mind-boggling to us, considering how much the arts benefit our lives and our world,” Andrews and Hamilton wrote. “They foster collaboration and creativity, essential skills for navigating in the workplace and surviving in a challenging world. They cultivate empathy and tolerance, by bridging cultural and socioeconomic divides. They’re also good for business: They spur urban renewal, promote tourism and generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity annually.”
The pair also wrote about how participation in the arts can help early childhood development, setting kids up for academic, professional, and personal success.
“The arts are fundamental to our common humanity,” Andrews and Hamilton added. “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 Hamilton recently teamed up with the Jim Henson Company for Julie’s Greenroom, a Netflix series premiering Friday that’s designed to introduce young children to art, music, dance, theater, and more. Celebrity guest stars include Idina Menzel, Alec Baldwin, Sara Bareilles, Tituss Burgess, and Carol Burnett.
Read Andrews and Hamilton’s full essay here.