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Robert Redford Calls for More Art Funding

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Robert Redford Calls for More Art Funding

Assuming his familiar role as political gadfly, Robert Redford took to the Kennedy Center stage Tuesday and urged more government money for the arts.

"Government support for the arts is not the frivolous giveaway that some would have you believe," Redford said, delivering Americans for the Arts' 16th-annual free arts and public policy lecture. "It's a good investment and it is sound economic development."

A founder of the Sundance Institute and the Film Foundation, the actor/director spoke of the importance of preserving film for posterity and battling censorship in all art forms.

His penchant for free expression has extended to politics, fueling his frequent activism on behalf of liberal causes, particularly, preserving the environment.

"We hear the word 'freedom' bandied about a lot these days," Redford said. "It's a sacred concept.... To be able to freely voice dissent in our hearts or in our art is something to protect at all costs."

Redford took a few jabs at the Bush administration, which has favored trimming public funding for the arts.

"We need people in office who will have a vision for our country that goes beyond the next election," he said.

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