Art Matters: A Special Message from Great Performances Executive Producer David Horn

David Horn

David Horn, Great Performances Executive Producer

Each time I go to the theater, there’s a hush that falls over the crowded hall as I wait in anticipation of what will unfold on the stage. And for the past thirty years the team at Great Performances has sought to deliver that same thrill to millions of viewers.

 With the proposed federal budget cuts currently in play in Washington, we are similarly waiting in anticipation, but rather than a hush, we want to be sure to make some noise – to be sure that we are heard: Arts matter, the National Endowment for the Arts matters, the National Endowment for the Humanities matters, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting matters.

 All of these agencies support the arts as a core part of their mission. Together they are an essential factor in ensuring that all Americans have access to a wide range of arts experience – from visual to performing arts, from dance to theater to opera – from museums to arts education in the schools and out — from classical to radical.

And they all provide essential support for Great Performances, Great Performances at the Met, Shakespeare Uncovered, and more. As productions of New York PBS station THIRTEEN, we would likely go dark without this base of funding. 

These are the only programs of their kind, available to every American for free. They provide access to the arts no matter your home town or your personal circumstances. And they extend far beyond the screen, forming the basis for a wide variety of arts education tools for educators, for free. 

But perhaps our proudest accomplishment is seen in those whom we’ve inspired. Thousands of fans over the years have written about the passion we spark in them. We’ve heard from dancers and actors and patrons of the arts who credit Great Performances with exposing them to the breadth of arts. Exposing them to the possibilities. It is truly a privilege to have the capacity to inspire our future performers, teachers and arts lovers alike.

All of this is made possible through the generous support of the Federal government as well as individuals and institutions who believe in us and see the value we deliver.

Federal funding for public broadcasting represents less than 1/100th of one percent of the federal budget, yet PBS is watched by 82 percent of US households. This investment is critical to providing every American with free access to public media — a proven, trusted source of in-depth and informative journalism, award-winning educational children’s programming, and vital insights into science, history and, of course, the arts.

With funding for public broadcasting eliminated in the current Federal Budget Blueprint, we would like to ask you to stand with Great Performances and join our efforts to restore funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Visit to learn more.

With your help, we’ll keep exploring the world around us in search of beauty, knowledge and inspiration.

 Thank you for your support,

David Horn
Executive Producer
Great Performances

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