"In America, we should all be able to enjoy art, ideas, and culture, no
matter what our station in life. And our children should be exposed to
them, no matter what their station in life. For children, federal support
of the arts and humanities is particularly critical. Think of how often we
hear stories about children who, unable to find safe outlets for their
ideas, their emotions, their enormous physical energy, travel instead down
the wrong road to destruction and despair. But across our nation, federal
support to the arts and humanities has enabled tens of thousands of those
children to see their first play, their first ballet, their first Monet.
What a transforming experience it can be when a young person discovers his or
her own gifts for music, for dance, for painting, for drama, for poetry,
photography, or writing. The earlier we start developing these creative
impulses for artistic and intellectual potential, the better off our children
and we will be."
--From President Clinton's January 9 address to recipients of the National
Medal of the Arts and the Charles Frankel Prize for achievement in the