Kevin Spacey Praises President Nixon for Robust Arts Funding

Kevin Spacey Praises President Nixon for Robust Arts Funding

It’s rare that anyone in Hollywood has a kind word to share about a Republican, past or present.

This week, House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey surprised an interviewer by toasting arguably the most reviled Republican in recent memory–President Richard M. Nixon.

Spacey is an advocate for governmental arts funding, and when asked which president had done the most toward that effort he gave an unorthodox response.

Richard Nixon. That may be a surprising name for you to hear. But he actually funded the National Endowment for the Arts more than any president had up until that time.

Nixon eloquently addressed the role the arts play in American culture in special message to Congress in 1969:

The attention and support we give the arts and the humanities–especially as they affect our young people–represent a vital part of our commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Americans….

Therefore, I ask the Congress to extend the legislation creating the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities beyond its termination date of June 30, 1970, for an additional three years.

Further, I propose that the Congress approve $40,000,000 in new funds for the National Foundation in fiscal 1971 to be available from public and private sources. This will virtually double the current year’s level.

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