Following the Trump administration’s proposal to defund the National Endowment for the Arts, Oscar-winning stage and screen star Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, who have collaborated on dozens of children's books, penned an editorial posted on CNN that details how the arts not only enrich communities culturally but also economically.
“What if there was one activity that could guarantee your kids would do better in school and cope well with life's challenges?” Andrews and Hamilton ask. “And what if this same activity helped them grow up to be lifelong learners, have more success in their chosen career, earn a higher salary and have more fulfilling relationships? What if it even made them more likely to volunteer, be philanthropic, vote—and ultimately, live longer, healthier, happier lives?
“In fact, there is such an activity. It is participation in the arts.”
The mother and daughter go on to say, “And yet, the arts are the first to go when the budget ax falls…This is mind-boggling to us, considering how much the arts benefit our lives and our world. 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.”
Read the complete letter from Andrews—who can also be seen in the new family series celebrating the arts, Julie's Greenroom—and Emma Walton Hamilton here.