Washington, D.C. hosted a slew of celebratory balls after President Trump's Inauguration Friday night. Aside from the three official inaugural balls — Liberty, Freedom, and Salute To Our Armed Services Ball — several others were also held in the nation's capital.
Among them were The Pink Ball (thrown by Planned Parenthood), The Great Gatsby Presidential Inaugural Ball, and The Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball, hosted by the non-profit Creative Coalition.
Actors, poets, painters, and musicians swarmed Creative Coalition's ball, but amid an evening intended to honor the arts, came a series of warnings/pleads for the president to continue funding the National Endowment for the Arts.
Hollywood stars like Tim Daly, who's currently on the CBS show, “Madam Secretary,” and president of Creative Coalition, spoke at the event — also known as “The Right to Bear Arts Ball.”
He said that Trump's budget plan, which is set to eliminate funding for the NEA within ten years, would hurt “the very people who actually put him in office”:
“It would be a huge mistake to take away an organization that mostly funds art programs and seed money for art programs in small towns all around the country.”
In 2016, the NEA was granted $148 million from the almost $4 trillion federal budget. The NEA is an “independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence.” The Hill reports that it's seen as unnecessary government funding from conservatives' standpoint, and has been on their chopping block for years.
But Daly's argument for funding continued when he pointed its economic benefits, citing that every one dollar of NEA grants produces seven dollars in the economy.
Daly wasn't the only celebrity in attendance.
Christina Hendricks from “Mad Men,” Mae Whitman from “Parenthood,” and Alia Shawkat from “Arrested Development” were all present for the gala.
Jackie Cruz, known for her role on “Orange is the New Black,” told The Hill that cutting the NEA's funding would be wrong, saying:
“It's ridiculous. We need art in our lives.”
She also said she knows there's a divide between Hollywood and the majority of President Trump's stances, but she doesn't know how to respond:
“I want to be unified more than anyone, but right now we’re not. That’s the truth. [Trump] is going against everything I believe it, the environment, immigration, women’s rights… What is the whole thing about make America great again? When was it so great?”
And while Trump opted to not have an inaugural poet, it's clear his stance on what government funding should and shouldn't go towards is not favor of the arts.