Kevin Spacey & Alec Baldwin Go to Bat for the Arts

Both Alec Bald­win and Kevin Spacey are long­time advo­cates for gov­ern­ment fund­ing of  the Arts. If you missed their tes­ti­mo­ny before the House Appro­pri­a­tions Subcom­mi­tee on the Inte­ri­or ear­li­er this month, you aren’t alone. They were kicked off the sched­ule because of prepa­ra­tions for a con­gres­sion­al shut­down. These speech­es were deliv­ered not to the sub­com­mit­tee but to a crowd of advo­cates and fans.

Both are well worth watch­ing. Spacey, who is also the artis­tic direc­tor of Lon­don’s Old Vic The­atre, has long been one of the most respect­ed and artic­u­late actors in Hol­ly­wood. (See his inspir­ing pep talk to a young actor on Inside the Actor’s Stu­dio here.) He packs more wis­dom in these 12 and a half min­utes than some per­form­ers do in a life­time.

As for Alec Bald­win, his speech is short­er, but equal­ly com­pelling. If you’re in a rush, head straight to minute  4:00, which begins with this teas­er: “I come from a busi­ness where we all know a great secret …”

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly.

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