Archive for Tuesday, August 16, 2011

National Endowment for the Arts says it can no longer give funding to Kansas, in wake of Brownback budget cuts

August 16, 2011, 5:20 p.m. Updated August 16, 2011, 8:48 p.m.


— The National Endowment for the Arts says it cannot offer matching federal grants to Kansas this year because of Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of funding the state's arts program.

Brownback applied a line-item veto to funding the Kansas Arts Commission, essentially leaving an agency with no budget or staff. He proposed fundraising be handled by a new non-government foundation and maintained the state would be eligible for NEA funding.

But Victoria Hutter, spokeswoman for NEA in Washington, told The Topeka Capital-Journal on Tuesday that the state's decision to withdraw state aid to its arts commission prevented federal grant support in the fiscal year starting in October.

In the past, Kansas invested about $700,000 annually to secure $1.3 million in external grants for arts programs scattered throughout the state.

During the last legislative session, Brownback had proposed getting rid of the Arts Commission and replacing it with a private fundraising group.

But his executive order to do that was rejected on a bi-partisan vote in the Senate. Legislators in the House and Senate then approved a state budget that included $689,000 for the Arts Commission, but Brownback vetoed that funding.

Kansas Citizens for the Arts, a statewide advocacy organization, said Brownback should reinstate state funding of the Kansas Arts Commission.

"Governor Brownback has repeatedly and misleadingly claimed that his veto of state funding for the arts would not endanger $1.2 million in federal

matching funds," said Sarah Carkhuff Fizzell, a spokesperson for the Kansas Citizens for the Arts.

"With the state projecting a $180 million year-end surplus, we call upon the Governor to listen to the Legislature and reinstate funding for the Kansas Arts Commission," she said.


Keith 6 years ago

Yea St. Sam! More intelligent design.

Katara 6 years ago

We saved $700,000 to lose $1.3 million.

ljwhirled 6 years ago

Awesome, look at all the new jobs!

Play it again Sam!

beatrice 6 years ago

Cutting $2 million to be spent in the state during a time of economic hardship.

The $1.3 million will be spent, elsewhere.

appleaday 6 years ago

Hasn't the Rapture been rescheduled for some time in October?!?!?

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

We can only hope. Thing is, if it did happen I still don't think we will be shed of Brownback and all of his "Christianist" cronies.

TopJayhawk 6 years ago

Brownback bears little resemblence to a true Christian. Stop feeding into his delusions by calling him that.

Clark Coan 6 years ago

Brownshirt is the most reactionary governor since the 1920s when the KKK controlled two governors and the legislature.

verity 6 years ago

This is what Sam wanted. Part of the American Family Association agenda is to get rid of the indecent influence of the family-values-degrading National Endowment for the Arts.

Rejoice, Kansans, we shall be pure.

verity 6 years ago

Kept that way by Sam, even if he has to drag us kicking and screaming into holiness.

overthemoon 6 years ago

Why is this AP article so truncated? There's more information available?

Perhaps the Gov. will learn to do his homework before issuing further edicts.

Orwell 6 years ago

But… but… but he assured us we'd still get this money!

So is Brownback a fool or a liar? There's no third choice.

thebigspoon 6 years ago

I do appreciate the sentiment, aco, but am a bit miffed at the idea that all who voted for this crudbucket are fools. I hate him and his cronies/masters and all he has done to this state in such a little time, but, you must confess, a huge number of Kansans voted for the guy after hearing all his lies, and wanting desperately to believe things would change for the better. The thing to do now is to begin pointing out to those voters just how terribly taken in they were. Those who voted Republican just because he was Republican should still be ashamed, but those who voted from a sincere belief that things would be better deserve sympathy.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years ago

Brownbackwards is the best friend all the other states have. The IRS has taken money from Kansans and now thanks to this Sharia Law Advocate we have in the statehouse, the government it giving some of it back.........To other states............????

kseagle 6 years ago

See more proof the arts commission is a joke and doesn't deserve to be funded. Now let's move on to the bigger issues facing our state.

MrMeowmers 6 years ago

I'm not sure you understand the concept of "proof" . . .

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

Actuallly, he doesn't understand the concept of spending $1 to bring in $2. Safely double your investment? Nah. Bad idea. Turn it down.

bad_dog 6 years ago

Perhaps starting with "the bigger issues" such as developing jobs might be the more prudent thing to do?

Nah, let's stick with the really important things like promoting unconstitutional abortion clinic legislation, cutting corporate taxes, slashing school budgets, de-funding arts commissions, closing SRS offices, etc.

homechanger 6 years ago

The money the fed would be "giving" us is borrowed from the Chinese.

Richard Crank 6 years ago

And the dollars spent on this country's latest wars weren't? This isn't even pennies on the dollar compared to that cost; and I'm only referring to the dollar cost, not the lost and shattered lives.

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

Yeah...what is it with these people who think that federal income and outlay is put into separate little pots: "Money borrowed from the Chinese". "Money from personal income taxes." "Crushing tax income from corporations that pay an effective 15% and sock their profits aside, rather than hiring additional employees they don't need."

I guess homechanger has never taken out a mortgage or had a car payment or used a credit card...because, of course, that would mean that he borrowed money and would, himself, be vulnerable to the suggestion that his home or his car or his credit card debt (for whatever it was used for) is money borrowed from the Chinese.

notanota 6 years ago

The jobs and economic growth it would have funded were right here.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years ago

Quality art can and should stand on its' own merit.

TopJayhawk 6 years ago

The above three, all true. If it is worthy. People will support it. The Govenment really should stick to governing. This is a free lunch we really don't need.

We still saved $700000 and that aint chump change for this state.

If you go to the store, and buy a bunch of stuff on sale. the cashier will tell you you saved $35.00, but you know you really spent $150.00. So you really did not save anything.

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

We did NOT "save" $700,000.

We lost money on the deal because we would have had $2 million to spend on jobs and job-creating/maintaining goods and services in Kansas.

Instead...we spent that same $700,000 on something else (we didn't get to keep it in our pockets, after all) and lost that additional $1.3 million to other states who will create/maintain jobs with that $$ in their states.

I'm still astonished by people who think it's a bad idea to spend $1 to bring in a guaranteed $2 that's going to be given to some state, regardless of whether it's Kansas or not. Or by people who don't understand that maintaining existing jobs is just as important to an economy as creating new jobs.

Ken Lassman 6 years ago

A bunch of those dollars went to small towns and rural Kansas, who were able to get a bunch of arts projects for schools and community events sponsored. Without those matching state and federal dollars, those programs are gone. Merit has nothing to do with it; the big towns like Lawrence, Salina, Wichita and KC will carry on without it, but access to these events will dry up in small town Kansas without the NEA/KAC dollars.

No apostrophe needed on "its" by the way. The only time you need an apostrophe for "it's" is when it is a contraction of "it is." It's never a posessive.

sad_lawrencian 6 years ago

This is a sad day for Kansas. Thank you, Governor Brownback.

usnsnp 6 years ago

Governments have always helped fund the Arts, go back in history and see who supported a large number of artist. Art is a stimulus to the mind and learning, it stimulates the iminagation of young people, it helps them learn better, it helps people inovate and invent things. The amount of money our government spends on the arts is very small. But it seems that paying for 2 wars with money borrowed from the Chinese is better for the country.

overthemoon 6 years ago

Right you are. So many of the things we value most are the remnants of government spending. Those tours of Italy and France and every other destination for travel, study, or inspiration are full of examples. They tell the stories of both the triumphs and failures of bygone ambitions...and they make us so much richer.

beatrice 6 years ago

You don't even need to look at Europe or too far back in history. Probably the most famous art of Kansas are the murals by John Steuart Curry in the Capitol. Everyone is familiar with the image of John Brown with his arms spread wide before the approaching storm. That was funded by the government.

voevoda 6 years ago

Exactly as predicted. Unfortunately.

voevoda 6 years ago

Exactly as predicted. Unfortunately.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Again, Sam doesn't really care about whether the funding comes through. This will get him exactly what he's looking for-- fifteen minutes of time on Faux News, and adulation in the wider wackosphere.

Sunny Parker 6 years ago

Thank you Sam! You are doing exactly what you were elected to do! Good Job!

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

He was elected to save us a dime and cost us a dollar?

Paul Decelles 6 years ago

Sam's bucking for a VP spot with Perry. He doesn't give a whit about Kansas.

notanota 6 years ago

Texas has done so awesomely, too. Number one in minimum wage job growth, and number one in worker fatalities. Let's all be like Texas!

blindrabbit 6 years ago

One of the odd things about Sam rejecting Public Arts funding is that he no-doubt is a toady to the Koch Brothers and their political manipulations, and yet David Koch is a major funding contributor of The Arts in NYC. Additionally, he funds many of the Art's oriented programing that I see on KCPT (Channel 19). I suppose you could argue that the Koch approach to arts funding is exactly what Sam advocates when he talks about private funding for the arts, so maybe we ought to see if Charlie and David might direct some of their largess to their home state (Kansas). Somehow, I don't trust the whole bunch of them! Or better yet, maybe it's a plan by Koch et. al, to de-fund Public Radio and Television thus eliminating progressive viewpoints and still waive the arts support banner while gaining political and tax advantages for themselves.

verity 6 years ago

" . . . maybe it's a plan by Koch et. al, to de-fund Public Radio and Television thus eliminating progressive viewpoints and still waive the arts support banner while gaining political and tax advantages for themselves."

You may very well be onto something here.

nut_case 6 years ago

"With the state projecting a $180 million year-end surplus, we call upon the Governor to listen to the Legislature and reinstate funding for the Kansas Arts Commission," she said.

I call upon the Governor to take that $180 million and lower taxes and create job growth.

Obviously he's had to make some tough decisions - just a few years ago, KS was delaying tax refunds due to being in the red. Nice to see a slight surplus. At the end of the day, arts are nice, but I'd rather have a job.

Ken Lassman 6 years ago

Um, have you ever checked into how many jobs are created by the arts in Kansas? According to the 2007 Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences in the State of Kansas study done by Americans for the Arts, Kansas private nonprofit arts and cultural sector supports over 4,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

According to the NEA, in 2008, the creative arts industry in Kansas employs over 37,000 people. And remember, the real impact will be felt in arts education and community events for small town/rural Kansas, since the dollars lost are the sole source for many of these things and will not likely be replaced by corporate funding.

CrackpipeCardozo 6 years ago

"I call upon the Governor to take that $180 million and lower taxes and create job growth."

What an incredibly vacuous sentiment, especially when one considers Brownback's negligible stance towards job creation thus far.

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

What is it with people who think that lowering taxes creates job growth? How many years do they have to see the evidence right in front of their eyes that tax cuts are not creating jobs? It's increased consumer demand that creates jobs...and tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy do not create increased consumer demand.

dogsandcats 6 years ago

Because guys named Art aren't as well-endowed.

dogsandcats 6 years ago

So Brownback is a liar, or he's just stupid? Both? Gotcha.

jayhawklawrence 6 years ago

The right wing Republicans are just getting scarier and scarier. The Republicans are not interested in morality. It is only about the money, the power and belonging to an elite club of people who think they are superior to the rest of us.

Distribution of wealth in America:

Poverty in America:

Religious leaders who allow their pulpits to be taken over by right wing politicians need to take a step back and realize that they may be dancing with the devil.

verity 6 years ago

Not may be---they are dancing with the devil.

Isn't there a saying about "power corrupts . . ."?

Religion is always corrupted when it becomes mixed with governmental authority. I can't think of any time in history where that hasn't been the case.

WilburNether 6 years ago

Reasonable people understand that this news is cause for celebration. After all, federal grants are not "free money," but rather taxpayer dollars (or, more accurately, money borrowed from China that future taxpayers would eventually have to repay, with interest). Intelligent people understand that money for both state and federal spending is not a freebie, but rather money either confiscated from American taxpayers, or borrowed from foreign sources -- and to be repaid along with the rest of the $14 trillion+ of the national debt. Every little bit helps, and what this story means is that taxpayers just saved $2 million.

If you want financial support for "the arts," then dig into your own pocket and put YOUR money where your mouth is, not mine.

jafs 6 years ago

I strongly suspect the money will not go towards reducing our debt, but simply to other states.

Lawrence_Pilot 6 years ago

The arts don't need quotes around them. It's just the arts.

So, in other words, you're in favor of not accepting federal money for any reason? Roads? Domestic security? Etc., etc.? No grants of any kind? Or where do you draw the line?

WilburNether 6 years ago

Lousy job of building a straw man and trying to knock it down. Better luck next time.

It should be obvious to any person with a reasonable degree of intelligence that we cannot afford to keep squandering money on nonessential programs.

appleaday 6 years ago

Wilbur -- I don't particurly care to pay for the roads that you may want to drive on so I suggest you dig into your own pockets to pay for that. Maybe I don't feel like funding the police or the fire departments this year. Maybe I don't want to fund the upkeep on the governor's mansion. Part of living in a civilized society is that we sometimes agree to work together even when we disagree. Not all of my tax money is spent the way I choose but that doesn't mean I whine about it. It's the price of living in a society.

WilburNether 6 years ago

What you do not get is that some things are nice to have, and some things are essential. The point is to stop squandering money on the programs in the nice-to-have category. Clearly, funding for the "arts" is nice to have, NOT essential.

It's rather amazing to see how people do not understand the distinction.

Pastor_Bedtime 6 years ago

Are you aware that welfare mooch Brownback and his family have enjoyed in the neighborhood of 2/3 a million dollars confiscated from the public trough in the name of farm subsidies?

WilburNether 6 years ago

Which, whether true or not, has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether taxpayer dollars should be squandered on funding for the "arts."

Next time, find something relevant to say.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Reasonable people understand that most of the debt is owed to ourselves, and not foreign countries. And those foreign countries have a vested interest in the US economy staying strong, because they are invested, so they are just as dependent on us and we are on them.

WilburNether 6 years ago

Fools do not understand that we cannot continue to pile up debt at the rate that Obama & Co. are going.

unite2revolt 6 years ago

Intelligent people realize that tax money is just going to go to another state.

WilburNether 6 years ago

No, intelligent people realize that we cannot keep running up the national debt by squandering money on nonessential matters, and want to see the nonessential spending stopped.

Only idiots claim that spending on the arts is essential.

bcolley 5 years, 12 months ago

Nonessential = War. Let's cut that funding first.

Lawrence_Pilot 6 years ago

This is just another example of how the Chief Redneck continues to defund our state until we're the next Mississippi. Keep voting for Rednecks folks....maybe one day you'll experience enough pain to realize your vote has consequences.

Resident10 6 years ago

I wish Kansas could fund the arts better. And I wish the government could just go around handing out $100 bills to people. Given the national debt debate, I don't think this analogy is overstated. The real issue is: What cuts need to be made? The argument should be that maybe the cut was too much. Maybe we can balance the cut with cuts in other places instead. Like.....? Corporate tax breaks? Raise state taxes? Nothing is perfect.

The reality is that the cuts are just beginning. The feds have been able to prolong the pain longer that states have. But can we really debate that cuts are coming? And as much as I think arts funding is important, I realize there are other, more vital services that also need money.

Pastor_Bedtime 6 years ago

For the sake of consistency.... Brownback should refuse all of the farm aid and subsidies he personally receives, as well as the monies he's trying to earmark for the reeducation of those unmarried folks out there.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Just to let ya know where we're heading: a new report was released today from the Annie E. Casey Foundation on children in poverty in the US. Overall, 1 in 5 children live in poverty in this country (an increase of 3% in the last decade). In a state by state breakdown, Kansas is in the middle of the pack at 15%. Florida (where the bulk of our wonderful, shiny new SRS people come from) is at 20%. Mississippi has twice the rate Kansas does and 1 in 3 children there live in poverty. It has held the 50th position in child poverty for over a decade. I fully expect that if Brownback is not taken out of power, the child poverty rate in this state will rise dramatically to at least match, if not surpass, Florida. Florida has several things going for it that Kansas doesn't, including the Orlando area and a robust tourism trade along with the super high end wealth of the Miami enclaves. Johnson County doesn't come close to matching that. Given the relative wealth of the state, the fact that their child poverty rate is so high is an outright crime but still lower than what I think Kansas will achieve over the next few years.

ihatelv 6 years ago

I don't know, so I'm asking................

What projects did the KS Art Com fund?

plainspeaking 6 years ago

The Kansas Arts Commission provided funding for community arts organizations (over 140) and artists (approximately 50) across the state. The KAC website should have a list of FY 2010 recipients listed. Grants were small and required matching funds - the grants were for specific purposes, such as arts-in-education programs, operational support, Kansas Arts on Tour. The KAC also provided technical assistance to local arts organizations on fundraising, strategic planning, writing by laws, and other important areas. Most of the organizations receiving support were small, located in rural areas and staffed by one paid person, or a lot of volunteers.

Ken Lassman 6 years ago

Interestingly, Brownback's hired staff deleted all of the Kansas Arts Commission web pages and the myriad projects that they did so you can't look this up for yourself as a taxpayer. Fortunately, much of this information has been preserved on the Kansas Citizens for the Arts web page.

notanota 6 years ago

I'm sure the private, underfunded foundation will be totally open with their records and how they spend those donations, now won't they?

Ken Lassman 6 years ago

Kansas Arts Foundation isn't even being open with questions from the minority members of the Kansas Arts Commission, which Brownback purged recently. Topeka Capitol Journal reported that the NEA proposal submitted by the KAF had purged most of the successful programs that the former Commission was doing, so censorship about its activities is not only occurring in their fundraising success, apparently.

Ralph Reed 6 years ago

I would say this is an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, but The Gov knew exactly what he was doing. He was warned, then told that not funding the KAC would lose the state $1.7 mil (ballpark) in matching funds. He didn't want any funding of the arts in Kansas and that's what he got. This hurts almost all of the small communities as, "...the big towns like Lawrence, Salina, Wichita and KC will carry on without it, but access to these events will dry up in small town Kansas without the NEA/KAC dollars." (DougCounty, above)

From the article. "But his executive order to do that was rejected on a bi-partisan vote in the Senate. Legislators in the House and Senate then approved a state budget that included $689,000 for the Arts Commission, but Brownback vetoed that funding."

He vetoed the funding because he did an end run around the legislature by firing everyone who worked for the KAC before the budget was passed. That way he could use his line-item veto and get rid of the KAC because no one worked there anymore. Further, he could point the finger at someone else as he tries very hard not to own any decisions made by his administration. In this instance he pointed the finger at the National Endowment for the Arts when it did not fund arts in Kansas because there is no state support for the arts saying, "That's mighty irresponsible of them." Unfortunately, people won't remember what lead to those words, they'll just remember The Gov pouting and saying they didn't fund Kansas, and once again, The Gov will have no ownership of of the consequences of his actions.

KS 6 years ago

This is great!!!! Saves money on both sides. It's all a waste of money anyway! :) That ought to really p-off some folks.

ihatelv 6 years ago

Kind of what I was thinking.................

Kendall Simmons 6 years ago

Except that it does NOT save money anywhere. It just shifts the spending of it elsewhere. Brownback isn't giving back the $698,000. And the feds aren't giving back the $1.3 million.

Cutting off your nose to spite your face has never been a particularly sound fiscal policy, and I see no reason for it to start being an intelligent use of funds now.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years ago

Gone are the days of taking a shoe box full of dog crap and selling it to the government for 20K!

appleaday 6 years ago

You're talking about all of the expensive military gadgets, right?

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

As someone said earlier, Brownback has not saved Kansas $700,000 by cutting the KAC. This money will be spent elsewhere.

Same with the $1.3 million from the feds. It will be distributed, just not to Kansas.

Brownback also turned away $31 million for health reform implementation. Again, it will be spent, just not in Kansas.

These are federal spending issues. Brownback had two terms in the senate to cut the federal budget, and he did not. Spending and the debt during Brownback's senate tenure was astronomical.

Now that he is Governor of Kansas, he wants to fight these federal level battles at the expense of the Kansas people.

Brownback is failing in his responsibilities to the people of Kansas. He may not agree with federal spending, but it is his duty to ensure that Kansas gets its share relative to other states.

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