Alec Baldwin visited the nation's capital on Monday to press for increased federal funding for the arts after government dollars were cut last year, saying such funding ensures the public affordable access to theater, dance and music.
The actor for NBC's "30 Rock" told The Associated Press he was returning to Congress to press for arts funding after the culture wars of the 1990s first drew him into the same debate about 20 years ago. Part of his passion, he said, was protecting freedom of expression through the arts, as well as arts education.
Baldwin, 54, said his own industry of TV and film is often like the "potato chip business — it's junk food." For more sophisticated arts, he said he has to go out and find music, theater or dance programs just like anyone else. But for him, a night out for culture isn't an issue.
"There are tremendous parts of the country right now where there's a need for federal funding for the arts in order to bring that to people on a level that they can afford," he said. "We still have a cultural heritage to protect in this country. This is what's going to enrich people's lives."