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Proclamation 5348 -- Very Special Arts U.S.A. Month, 1985

May 29, 1985

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Art is one of the most important forms of human expression. Whether as creators or as spectators, Americans participate in the arts in some form almost every day, and their lives are made richer by this activity. Art also brings us into contact with the rich aesthetic tradition of our civilization, while the art of other cultures can be one of the best introductions available for those who want to learn more about them.

The importance of art makes it essential that all Americans be able to make use of this unique resource. The National Committee, Arts with the Handicapped, is an educational affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. During the past eleven years, it has served as the coordinating agency for arts programs for disabled children, youth, and adults. The Very Special Arts Program that it sponsors provides ongoing arts programs for many Americans with disabilities.

The Very Special Arts Program makes it possible for disabled Americans to participate in the arts and enrich their lives in the same way as all other Americans. Through it, they can gain the opportunity for self-expression within the context of our rich cultural tradition. This program deserves the support and assistance of all Americans.

In recognition of the importance of arts education in the lives of everyone, including those with disabilities, and in celebration of Very Special Arts Programs throughout the country, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 103, has designated the month of May 1985 as ``Very Special Arts U.S.A. Month'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of May 1985 as Very Special Arts U.S.A. Month. I encourage the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, programs, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:21 p.m., May 30, 1985]

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 30.