Debbie Gibson and Celebrity Volunteers Perform for Art Education! [VIDEO]

Even though arts play a crucial role in improving a child's ability to learn, express oneself and build self-confidence, many schools have cut funding on arts education programs. Comedians and entertainers came together to raise money for the arts at the 2012 Benefit with Friends show in West Hollywood, CA, and HooplaHa was there to share in this important event. As host of the star-studded program, HooplaHa ambassador Debbie Gibson asked celebrity performers to share how the arts influenced their childhood and why supporting the arts is so important to them! Hear what Steven Weber, Mindy Sterling, Rachael Harris, Jean Louisa Kelly and more have to say!

As you can see, art in schools inspires tomorrow's creative thinkers. Jeffrey Schnapp, director of the Stanford Humanities Lab at Stanford University, says that art "is both a form of serious play governed by rules and techniques that can be acquired through rigorous study, and a realm of freedom where the mind and body are mobilized to address complex questions -- questions that, sometimes, only art itself can answer: What is meaningful or beautiful? Why does something move us?"

Don't let all that big-picture thinking make your head hurt, talking about arts education and funding doesn't haven't always have to be serious. The conversation can be as light-hearted as discussing your memories of being in the school play or leading the trumpet section in the marching band. The Benefits with Friends show used comedy, entertainment and a fun night out as a way to raise awareness for arts education and funding. There are a million ways to talk about this issue but the important thing is that we talk about it! What do you say, join in the conversation?

For more information about Benefit with Friends, visit their website! What issue should HooplaHa tackle next? Submit your idea here!