Lin-Manuel Miranda is having the best trip to Washington, D.C. — and is documenting the highlights on Twitter.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Hamilton composer spent Wednesday meeting with members of Congress on Capitol Hill, pushing them to preserve the $150 million in funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities currently on the chopping block in President Donald Trump‘s initial budget proposal.
Working with the National Humanities Alliance, Miranda, 37, held meetings with everyone from New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Adriano Espaillat and California Representative Maxine Waters to Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski — sharing selfies with them on his social media accounts.
“Here with the real life Leslie Knope,” he wrote of Gillibrand, while referencing Amy Poehler’s character from NBC’s acclaimed comedy Parks and Recreation. (He then proved he’s a fan of the sitcom by adding the hashtag #TreatYoSelf2017.)
A shot with Leahy and Murkowski had Miranda dreaming up a new show for the three of them. “Miranda, Leahy, Murkowski…in a new political thriller this fall, only on USA,” he joked. “#CharactersWelcome.”
Miranda also took a ride on the U.S. Capitol subway system, which links the Capitol building to the House and Senate offices, dubbing it the “Congress Train.”
Like any good road trip, the Tony winner brought the tunes — singing modified songs from Hamilton and other musicals (including Meet Me in St. Louis‘s “The Trolley Song,” Show Boat‘s “Old Man River,” and Oklahoma‘s title track) during rides.
Elsewhere, Miranda snuck in an “Evita arms” pose (made famous both by deceased First Lady of Argentina Eva Perón and Patti LuPone, the actress who first played her in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita) and posed with a statue of Hamilton himself.
Although the composer snuck in some fun, Miranda was doing serious work in Washington.
On Tuesday, he accepted the U.S. Capitol Historical Society’s 2017 Freedom Award for the many ways in which Hamilton has sparked interest in American history — stressing the importance of the arts and immigration in his speech.
“Without humanities and arts programs, I wouldn’t be standing here; and without Alexander Hamilton and the countless other immigrants who built this country, it’s very probable that very few of us would be here either,” Miranda said, per ABC News.
“Our story also includes the hundred of thousands of young people today who came to this country with their parents and know no other home,” he added, calling out the DREAMers at risk of deportation with Trump’s decision to revoke the the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
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Miranda — whose father, Luis A. Miranda, Jr., immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager from Puerto Rico and joined his son on the D.C. trip — took time to attribute his success to his New York public education, calling the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as the National Endowment for the Arts “so vital to our democracy,” CBS News reported.
As for Hamilton, he said the world’s reaction to it and the renewed engagement with the founding era “has changed all of our lives — my life in particular.”
He was also praised by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who introduced him to the crowd gathered in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
“With the Tony award-winning Broadway hit Hamilton, he energized America’s understanding of our own history,” she said, per ABC News. “Lin-Manuel, I am truly, truly convinced that the arts are what will bring our country together and you have been a force in that regard.”