Why The ‘Hamilton’ Cast’s Trip To The White House Was So Important

This week, the cast of “Hamilton” temporarily left Broadway behind and ventured to Washington, D.C., to perform in one of the most coveted venues in America — the White House.

Their trip was heavily publicized by adoring media outlets, excited “Hamilton” stars on social media, and the White House itself. Nearly everyone with a wifi connection knew that creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and crew would be schooling the executive branch on why their hit show — based on the life of Alexander Hamilton — is winning Grammys, taking over YouTube, and generally inciting a wave of renewed interest in musical theater.

In the presence of Barack and Michelle Obama, Miranda and his deliberately diverse cast mates performed some of their recognizable, hip-hop-inspired songs, songs that even those of us not lucky enough to score tickets to the basically sold-out show have memorized (thanks to Spotify). Their infectious singing and rapping, live streamed on March 14 for all to see, was revolutionary in itself. When else to do you get to watch an icon freestyle rap in the Rose Garden?

As the first lady noted, “We wanted to change things up here in the White House a little bit. We wanted to open the doors really wide to a bunch of different folks who usually don’t get access to this place.”

But the really revolutionary part of Miranda and his dapper blue suit making waves in the the White House Cabinet Room? The fact that Obama’s administration was honoring the importance of the arts — and arts education — in such a momentous and public way.

At a time when politicians are bemoaning liberal arts degrees as shallow luxuries taxpayers should not be expected to pay for, Obama —> Read More