Tucci Will Testify on the Significant Role the Arts Play in Defining America's Culture

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Academy Award nominated actor Stanley Tucci and Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, will testify before Congress on March 22 in Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to $155 million.

Appearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Tucci will focus on the unique ability of the arts to unify people from diverse backgrounds by giving them common experiences. He will also discuss how the arts can be used to help America's citizens better understand and be proud of who they are as a people. Lynch's testimony will highlight the critical role the arts have to the health and vitality of the United States and the need to increase the current level of funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and to strengthen public policies for the nonprofit arts community.

"We must not look at the arts as an adjunct to society, but a vital and integral part of society," said Tucci. "Sometimes the arts make us think and see things as we have never before, sometimes they simply entertain and sometimes, if we are lucky, they do both."

"Contrary to popular belief, the arts are not a luxury," said Lynch. "In fact, the arts are absolutely critical to ensuring America thrives. Innovation and creativity-the exact skills needed to create and sustain economic growth—are born and cultivated in the arts. Therefore, it is essential that funding for the arts remains a staple of government support."

Stanley Tucci's rich and diverse work in more than 50 films, countless television shows has garnered him much recognition including Golden Globe® and Emmy Awards® as well as an Academy Award® nomination. He is best known for his work in such films as "Julie & Julia," "The Devil Wears Prada," "The Lovely Bones," "Road to Perdition," and the upcoming "Hunger Games." Tucci has also been nominated for a Tony Award® for his role in the 2002 revival of Terrence McNally's "Frankie and Johnny" and for a Grammy® for Best Spoken Word Album for Children – "The One And Only Shrek." He will next be seen in the much-anticipated "Hunger Games."  In addition, he frequently writes and directs independent films, work which won him an Independent Spirit® Award for Best First Screenplay for "Big Night" in 1996. In 2008, Tucci partnered with Steve Buscemi and Wren Arthur to form Olive Productions, a New York-based film and television company. Tucci serves on the Board of Directors for the Food Bank for New York City, and on the Board of Trustees of the Sundance Institute, where he also is a Creative Advisor at the Screenwriters and Directors Labs.

With more than 30 years of experience in the arts industry, Robert L. Lynch is motivated by his personal mission to empower communities and leaders to advance arts and arts appreciation in society. He has personally reached audiences in over 1000 locations spanning 49 states and more than a dozen nations, and ranging from Native American tribal gatherings to the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe to the President of the United States. During his tenure at Americans for the Arts, Lynch created the Americans for the Arts Action Fund and its connected political action committee to engage citizens in advocating for the arts and arts education to ensure arts-friendly public policies. He currently serves on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, a position appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, as well as on the board of the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, the Arts Extension Institute, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts Board. He is a member of the Executive Committee for United Voices for Education and is on the Advisory Council of the National Museum for Children in the Arts.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.