Emily Ratajowski Says Her Visit to Capitol Hill Was 'Disheartening' After Advocating for Arts Education

Emily Ratajowski on Visit to Capitol Hill
Emily Ratajowski
Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

04/30/2016 AT 01:20 PM EDT

On the eve of the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington D.C. (otherwise known as nerd prom) several of Hollywood's elite, together with politicians from both sides of the aisle, gathered at STK restaurant in support oftThe Creative Coalition's "Night Before" benefit celebrating Arts in America.

In attendance was model and actress Emily Ratajkowski who, along with several other celebrities including Neve Campbell, Rosario Dawson and Lisa Edelstein, had gone to Capitol Hill on Friday to lobby against cutting funding for the arts in public schools.

"It was my first time on the Hill today," Ratajkowski told PEOPLE at the Friday event. "And it was disheartening. A lot of people that you meet with don't feel powerful. And it's hard to ask them to do things when they don't feel like they can make a change themselves.

"For me, I've been very very fortunate that my childhood was filled with arts because of my parents," she continues. "My dad all the time battled with my school to keep funding for the arts ... Opportunity is essential."



However the Gone Girl actress has already met someone she thinks could make a difference – 2016 Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Having worked on his campaign the meeting "was super exciting," she says.

Of course, come Saturday, the person Ratajowski really wants to meet (along with everyone else in attendance at the WHCD) is President Barack Obama.

Hitting The Hill advocating for the public funding of arts today

A photo posted by Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) on



"I'd tell him that I missed my dad's 69th birthday to be out here and [that] my dad loves [him], so he should wish him a happy birthday," she says, adding that the chances of meeting POTUS are "very slim."

Reporting by ALEXANDRA ROCKEY FLEMING
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