Hollywood stars celebrate #RightToBearArts at DC gala
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The Creative Coalition’s annual gala brought together an array of Hollywood stars, lawmakers and D.C. power players Thursday night to celebrate bipartisan support for the arts.

The #RightToBearArts dinner and fashion show at the InterContinental Washington D.C. hotel capped a busy day, which saw celebrity advocates on Capitol Hill praising Democrats and Republicans for their work to make the arts more inclusive and accessible and encouraging them to maintain funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

At the event, Tim Daly, the Creative Coalition president and actor on CBS's “Madam Secretary," said that many Americans — even those in government — have a misconception that the NEA is an organization that funds the “elite Hollywood East Coast liberal types.”


Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, he added, “We want to dispel that perception and let people know that the ones who really benefit from this program, are the ones being overlooked and forgotten."

Anthony Carrigan, an actor from the HBO series “Barry,” spoke about how being a child with alopecia left him feeling “shy.”

"I never liked to make eye contact with people and I was always wearing hats and covering up,” Carrigan said. He said it was only when he started doing children’s community theatre that he noticed his confidence rise.

According to the NEA website, the independent federal agency’s “funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE's fiscal 2020 budget proposal, though, calls for eliminating federal funding for the NEA, as well as public television and radio, libraries and museums. It was the third year in a row the administration has proposed eliminating the agency's funding. But lawmakers have pushed back on those proposals.

Rep. Chellie PingreeRochelle (Chellie) PingreeDemocrats spend big to put Senate in play Overnight Energy: EPA chief touts benefits of deregulation for environment | Trump officials weaken fish protections Interior chief once lobbied against | USDA watchdog to probe handling of climate reports USDA's internal watchdog to probe allegedly buried climate change reports MORE (D-Maine) — the co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus — met the team of celebrities on Capitol Hill to discuss the president’s proposed budget cuts. She also praised the Creative Coalition on Twitter as “a great group of artists who help advocate for accessible public arts and arts education.”

“Since the Democrats have been in the majority, we are looking at the president’s proposed budget and we’re going to make sure all of our priorities are funded,” Rep. Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeeOvernight Defense: VA deputy secretary fired | Impeachment trial winds down with closing arguments | Pentagon watchdog to probe use of cancer-linked chemical DOD watchdog will review military use of cancer-linked chemical Pelosi digs in on impeachment rules fight MORE (D-Mich.) told The Hill.

At the InterContinental, the celebrity delegation walked the red carpet accompanied by artists living with glioblastoma — a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. Each one wore Optune — a portable head device that tries to prevent tumors from growing.

Lisa Bruce, an Optune patient ambassador, was joined by Ethan Cutkosky, an actor on Showtime's "Shameless." Bruce said she came across the device at her doctor’s office after her surgery.

And while the device often gets looks, Bruce said, “I would rather be around a long time than not wear [the device] at all because it doesn’t look right.”

Caterina Scorsone, who plays a neurosurgeon on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” said she looks forward to informing the show-runners about the workings of the device.

“The fact that there's this new modality, and a new approach to treating glioblastoma that can extend lifespan, is really exciting,” Scorsone told The Hill.

“Shameless” actor Ethan Cutkosky (center) with Optune patient ambassadors Lynn Oxenberg (left) and Lisa Bruce (right).