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Entertainers get on the bus to stump for the arts

Richard Marx, Jewel, Anita Baker, Alec Baldwin and Mary Chapin Carpenter are among the artists who will visit Washington, D.C. today to lobby denizens of Capitol Hill for more support of the arts.

The artists will join Mike Greene, prexy-CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, for the annual weeklong Arts Advocacy Celebration, which will include concerts, visits to local schools and meetings with legislators.

The event, presented by NARAS and Americans for the Arts, has been staged for more than 10 years as a celebration of the arts and to create an awareness and to influence Congressional leaders on issues affecting the entertainment industry. It also boasts workshops, educational programs and exhibits.

“These events will underscore the important role that the arts play in building our economy, nurturing healthy communities and teaching critical thinking and problem-solving skills,” said Greene.

Greene’s call to arts mirrored that of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who, while picking up her Grammy Award for best spoken word album, said that “the arts are a necessity, not a luxury, for the American national identity.”

Greene said a soon-to-be released research study will show how music therapy is used in aiding sufferers of autism, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and that “music training is far superior to even computer instruction in enhancing early childhood development.”

The Advocacy events will kick off with a lecture by former U.S. Sen. Alan K. Simpson, with opening remarks delivered by Creative Coalition prexy Alex Baldwin.

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