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White House To Encourage D.C. Arts

May 5, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A White House interagency task force for the District of Columbia will be expanded to encourage greater support for arts projects downtown as a means of revitalizing the capital, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday.

Joining a chorus of local officials and experts in urban renewal from around the country, Mrs. Clinton said arts centers, theaters and other performance venues could bring commerce to downtown Washington and create neighborhoods like those surrounding Lincoln Center and the Theater District in New York City.

``The arts are essential to economic growth in the city,″ Mrs. Clinton told a gathering of participants in the city’s Arts in a Living Downtown project. ``We can fill downtown with artists as well as lawyers and lobbyists.″

Mrs. Clinton offered no specific action that the White House task force would take, and her office was not immediately able to explain what she meant.

The Arts in a Living Downtown project has created a task force to increase artistic development downtown, but the endeavor _ with participation by the federal and local governments as well as the private sector _ does not yet have specific projects or funding goals.

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