By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A press conference was held Thursday at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts building on North Broad Street, as local arts, business, and cultural groups joined with lawmakers to discuss the possible loss of federal funding for the arts in the President’s proposed budget.

Various speakers discussed the importance of arts and programs to the community and local economy, while some also relayed how their own personal experience with federally funded programs helped shape their lives. PAFA President David Brigham lists just some of the ways the arts play a part in every day life.

“The arts support children, they support under served audiences, they create jobs and they create prosperity in our communities,” said Brigham.

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Brigham and the other speakers want the public to get involved, and fight to preserve federal funding for the arts, which he calls a small portion of our national spending.

“It’s a small investment with a huge impact. We encourage you to send that message,” he said. “Call your congressman, email your congressman, come out and support, attend events, show and express that these things matter.”

The group is also pushing the hashtag #SaveTheArts as a way to show support on social media.