Excerpt from 1997 State of the Union

"I'd like to make just one last point about our national community. Our economy is measured in numbers and statistics, and it's very important. But the enduring worth of our nation lies in our shared values and our soaring spirit. So instead of cutting back on our modest efforts to support the arts and humanities, I believe we should stand by them and challenge our artists, musicians, and writers -- (applause) -- challenge our museums, libraries and theaters -- (applause) -- we should -- we should challenge all Americans in the arts and humanities to join with our fellow citizens to make the year 2000 a national celebration of the American spirit in every community -- a celebration of our common culture in the century that has passed, and in the new one to come in a new millennium, so that we can remain the world's beacon not only of liberty, but of creativity, long after the fireworks have faded."

President William Jefferson Clinton
1997 State of the Union

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