WASHINGTON (AP) -- Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum joined forces on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to increase funding for the arts in a year of deep federal budget cuts.
The rocker and classical musician played a jam session briefly together for a gathering of legislators and arts advocates from across the country who planned to visit congressional offices.
Sorum recently has started a charity to support arts education in Los Angeles.
Ma has pressed for greater focus and funding for the arts in education, joining a White House initiative to help turn around failing schools with arts programs. He also called for including the arts with the educational emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math. Creativity connects the other subjects, Ma said, and helps students become self-motivated and innovative.
The group Americans for the Arts is pushing for funding to be restored to $155 million for both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Last year both agencies received about $146 million and lost about $7 million of that due to Congress' automatic budget cuts.
House Republican budget leaders have called for eliminating the two agencies altogether.