Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton teamed up to take a stand for the arts.
The duo wrote an op-end column for CNN Thursday urging representatives to fight and preserve funding for the arts in respond to President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for 2018.
“This is mind-boggling to us, considering how much the arts benefit our lives and our world,” they penned. “They foster collaboration and creativity, essential skill for navigating in the workplace and surviving in a challenging world. They’re also good for business: They spur urban renewal, promote tourism and generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity annually.”
The proposal released earlier on Thursday called for the elimination of funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Cooperation for Public Broadcasting, which supports programs, including PBS and NPR.
The 81-year-old and 54-year-old English actresses also pointed at studies compiled and published by the National Endowment for the Arts, which concluded that students who engaged regularly with the arts have higher grade-point averages and standardized test scores in school, along with lower dropout rates.
They added, “Julie has heard from countless people over the decades who believe their lives were enriched by the inspiration, comfort and sense of connection they received from the music, stories, films and productions in which she was fortunate enough to participate.
And in her philanthropic work, serving on the board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and as a member of the Artists Committee for Americans for the Arts, she has witnessed the impact that arts education has for young people on an international basis.”
Several other celebrities also took to social media to speak out against the proposed budget cuts.
“After all the wars are fought what remains are people, art, nature and culture,” tweeted Jamie Lee Curtis. “Trump can try but he cannot cut us out of the picture.”
“Ignorant, unskilled, sick, hungry, cruel and violent — what Trump’s budget would do for America,” wrote Mark Ruffalo.
Billy Eichner joked, “Trump cutting funding to SESAME STREET but Melania has all the taxpayer money she needs to stay in her penthouse in NYC #JusticeForBigBird.”
Andrews and Hamilton concluded their essay by urging representatives to take immediate action against the proposal.
“We feel it has never been more critical to advocate for and support the arts — not just in our schools, but in our communities and our lives,” they said. “We therefore respectfully request that every member of our society — individuals, educators, administrators, business leaders — do everything possible to preserve and advance this most precious and essential resource, and demand that our elected representatives do the same.”