The Creative Coalition Urges Congress to Support Funding for the Arts in the U.S.; The Creative Coalition and American

Thu May 7, 2009 6:41pm EDT

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On Friday, May 8, The Creative Coalition, the national, nonpartisan,
nonprofit organization for leaders in the arts and entertainment
industry, will lead a distinguished group of entertainment industry
leaders to Washington to urge The White House and the U.S. Congress to
support public funding for arts and arts education. The delegation will
present "Art and Soul," which features anecdotal experiences from
prominent Americans who have benefited from a strong arts background.
"Art & Soul" is produced by The Creative Coalition and American Photo
magazine, a Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. publication, using Blurb's
creative publishing platform in partnership with Sony Artisans of
Imagery(TM) Pulitzer-prize winning photographer Brian Smith, Blurb and
Splashlight. Blurb's platform gave The Creative Coalition the creative
control to design the book to their exact specifications, and to publish
it in a matter of weeks.

    The Creative Coalition Executive Director Robin Bronk writes in Art &
Soul's foreword:

    When faced with a collapsing economy, President Franklin Roosevelt tried
to put Americans in all lines of work back on the job. Instead of singling
out artists as somehow frivolous and unimportant to our nation's economy,
he instituted a host of programs designed to put federal funds into the
arts, employing America's creative talent and leaving a cultural legacy
that endures still today.

    The highpoint of this commitment was the Works Progress Administration's
Federal One program, which put thousands of Americans to work in the arts.
The government program was a lifeline for Jackson Pollock, Burt Lancaster,
Sidney Lumet, Ralph Ellison, Studs Terkel, John Cheever, Saul Bellow, and
thousands of other artists across the country.

    These programs created much-needed jobs in the immediate term, but they
did much more. They fostered great talents that otherwise may have been
lost. The work of the many great artists supported by the government in
the 1930s still benefits us today. Their contributions to our culture
endure, and their successful careers resulted in employment for many
others in the years that followed.

    We cannot forget this lesson of our not-so-distant history. Faced with an
economic downturn of staggering proportions, some attack any help for the
arts as waste, ignoring the millions of Americans who earn their livings
and support their families through their artistic endeavors and
arts-related enterprises.

    Beyond the finances, though, investing in the arts during these tough
times can ensure that America doesn't lose a generation of creative
talent to our temporary economic woes. Somewhere in America today, there
are individuals with the potential of Orson Welles and the artistic gifts
of Mark Rothko.

    Look deep into the souls of those artists who are portrayed in these
pages. They truly represent a great American legacy.

    "Art and Soul" was photographed in mid-February in Los Angeles a few days
leading up to the Oscars at an exclusive event called Haven produced by
Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. Each portrait was taken by Brian Smith, a
Pulitzer Prize-winning Sony Artisans of Imagery(TM) photographer, who has
been creating bold, graphic images of celebrities, athletes and executives
for more than 25 years. The portraits are accompanied by personal
testimonials from each artist which express their support for the
importance of the arts in our lives.

    Participants include actor and Creative Coalition Co-President Tim Daly,
Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, Tony Bennett, Anne Hathaway, Dana Delany,
Kerry Washington, Alfre Woodard, Zooey Deschanel, Alyssa Milano, and David
Hyde Pierce, among others. Elementary school students from Loyloa Village
Fine and Performing Arts Magnet School in the Los Angeles Unified School
District also participated.


For an interview with Robin Bronk, Executive Director, The Creative
Coaltion or images from Art & Soul:

Anne Janas
SVP, Corporate Communications
Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., publisher of American Photo
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