Archive for Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Statehouse Live: Arts supporters urge Brownback to reverse defunding decision

August 30, 2011


— With the state surplus growing, and because Gov. Sam Brownback wrongly predicted Kansas would continue to receive federal arts funding, supporters of the arts on Tuesday called on Brownback to restore state assistance to the Kansas Arts Commission.

But Brownback's office said that wasn't going to happen.

His spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag reiterated Brownback's statement that arts funding was not a core function of government and that the governor wants to "right-size" state government during tough economic times.

"You don't go out and buy art for the house when you are behind on the mortgage," Jones-Sontag said.

But several arts officials and House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence said economic concerns are precisely why Brownback should restore the $689,000 to the Kansas Arts Commission that he vetoed.

"This decision by Gov. Brownback was penny-wise and pound-foolish," Davis said.

Since Brownback's veto, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mid-America Arts Alliance have declared that Kansas is ineligible for $1.3 million in federal matching grants. Brownback and his administration had earlier told legislators that the federal funding would continue to flow to Kansas.

And Davis said that since the state's current reserve fund totals $180 million and is growing, the state could afford to fund the Arts Commission.

Several artists and arts officials from towns across the state also urged Brownback to reverse his decision in his next budget proposal, saying the lack of state funding would result in lost jobs and arts projects, especially in rural areas.

Louis Copt, a Lecompton artist who was designated earlier this year by the Kansas Arts Commission as the 2011 Governor's Artist, said he was concerned about how Kansas would be portrayed outside the state, and how Kansas children would view the arts. "We have to show them the arts are alive in Kansas," he said.

Gail Parsons, executive director of the Junction City Arts Council, said the group has lost both state and city funding. She said that affects the organization's ability to raise private dollars. "When we lose public funding, it sends the message that this is not so important. People start backing off," she said.

Melissa Windsor, executive director of the Emporia Arts Council, said public assistance was crucial to operate the town's new arts center that took years to plan for and build.

"Today it remains under-staffed and under-utilized due to a lack of public funding," she said.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 9 months ago

Sure would be nice to sit home all day smoking weed and making something out of a shoebox on the taxpayers dime.

tomatogrower 6 years, 9 months ago

It would be best to post about things you know about. The arts funding does not pay a salary to people who make art all day. Much of the money goes to historical museums across Kansas. Without that money, many of the museum's employees will be laid off, and the museums closed. For some of these little towns the museum is the only thing that brings people from other places to visit. Their restaurants and gas stations can't solely rely on local business, so these little towns will just die more than they already have. But I guess Brownback is supposedly going to have a bunch of out of state people move in who don't have to pay income tax. Of course they will demand clean water and good roads, but they won't have to pay for them. Brownback is the most incompetent governor we have ever had.

overthemoon 6 years, 9 months ago

The arts commission doesn't fund museums, I think that's in the Humanities and History Foundation arena.

overthemoon 6 years, 9 months ago

The arts commission doesn't fund museums, I think that's in the Humanities and History Foundation arena.

Sparko 6 years, 9 months ago

You weren't specifically mentioned. But noted.

bklonnie 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm beginning to think that rockchalk is just a bot. He never engages in conversations, and just posts the same mindless drivel all the time.

sciencegeek 6 years, 9 months ago

How many topics have you answered with this comment by now? So much for objective, analytical thought.

Sparko 6 years, 9 months ago

Hitler did quite a bit of arts revisionism too after he suckered folks like you. Didn't make it right then either.

BigAl 6 years, 9 months ago

And once again, President Obama was right. We have Brownback and we are paying for it.

Thanks for pointing this out rockchalk1977.

Gedanken 6 years, 9 months ago

You should give Obama more credit. I mean - he is the perfect Republican president! Gitmo has stayed open and looks to stay open indefinitely. He has continued the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He increased the number of troops in Afghanistan. He has agreed to cuts in social security and medicare. He assisted in implementing a Republican plan for universal health care. He signed a law expanding gun rights so you can now carry in National Parks. He has continued the Bush tax cuts and added additional cuts of his own.

Seriously - the only left thing he has done is helped repeal DADT and said he supports women reproductive rights! Oh, I guess he does want to raise taxes on millionaires.

sciencegeek 6 years, 9 months ago

Once again, the perfect example of "the ignorant voters in Kansas".

George Lippencott 6 years, 9 months ago

So most of our neighbors are ignorant?? I wonder what they think of us??

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 9 months ago

The solution for this is very simple. Make Brownbackwards the Official State Commissioner of Art. There is a very good example of how this should work, in 1937 in Germany Hitler created the House of German Art. Hitler made it clear that the cliques of "dilettantes and art forgers" of the modern art will be liquidated ....."they have had four years' time to prove themselves," he said at the inauguration.

In this fashion, the "degenerate art" of the "modernists" would be suppressed and unapproved art that was "spiritually destructive" would be eliminated.

Great plan for the Kansas facists that wish to control every element of artistic expression and to keep the "trash and riff-raff" from being funded!!

Jonathan Fox 6 years, 9 months ago

Wow, only on this site would die hard republicans be called a "facists."

If I were to live in a house I couldn't afford, I would definitely continue spending money on putting art on the walls.

Gedanken 6 years, 9 months ago

You apparently missed the memo about Kansas running a decent surplus.

Also, modern facism is the product of the far right. Socialism is the product of the far left.

question4u 6 years, 9 months ago

The fact remains that no other state or US territory has followed Brownback's lead. The rest of the country doesn't seem to see the wisdom in losing $1.2 million for your state economy just to save $700,000 for your $180 million surplus. Even the Kansas Legislature didn't think that it was a smart move, and that's saying something. No other state or US territory seems to want the reputation that Brownback has given to Kansas.

Why not? Shouldn't the people of those states and territories be proud to stand up and say, 'We don't support the arts"? Don't they think that showing less support for museums, symphonies, and theaters than does Mississippi or Alabama will be a selling point for business that might be looking to relocate? Don't they think that ceasing to support art centers in rural counties will make the population boom there? Don't they think that letting the arts decline is a sign of an enlightened state? Don't they think that having a $180 million surplus instead of a $179.3 million surplus is worth lowering your state's reputation for quality of life?

Doesn't the rest of the nation think that Brownback is a leader worth following?

Richard Renner 6 years, 9 months ago

Not only is no one following Brownback's decision but no one really asked for it. There was no hue and cry during the election or after it for the elimination of the Kansas Arts Commission. This is pure ideology and that is his only support. If you think like he does you will be expected to go along with this or be thrown out of the party. I believe in fiscal responsibility and government having less say in what I do but I also like the arts support and educational system (which took a huge cut). I do not agree with this unsupported demolition of the arts support in our state.

overthemoon 6 years, 9 months ago

"You don't go out and buy art for the house when you are behind on the mortgage," Jones-Sontag said.

One, this statement is indicative of people trying to relate Government spending with household finances. Macro and micro economics are different animals and the analogy is flawed.

Two, it seems this twit is thinking that 'The Arts' are pictures you hang over the sofa. It shows the shallow attitude toward the value of arts education and exposure to people of all ages. Theater, dance, music, craft, the fine arts, and spoken and written word are all part of 'the Arts'. If anything, it is during tough times that the arts can provide valuable reminders of who we are, what we dream of, and why money is not the most important part of our life on this rock.

pittstatebb 6 years, 9 months ago


The state of KS is not behind on the mortgage, has not been behind on the mortgage and can legally never be behind on the mortgage. In fact, we could pay off our mortgage right now with our cash in the bank.

Jonathan Fox 6 years, 9 months ago

That doesn't change the fact that having private fund raising from people who can afford to pay for arts and crafts makes a lot more sense to someone living paycheck to paycheck.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 9 months ago

"But Brownback's office said that wasn't going to happen."

Being Sam Brownback means never having to say you're wrong.

George_Braziller 6 years, 9 months ago

Wrong? It isn't possible. How can one be "wrong" when one is constructing a throne at the right hand of God?

Paul R Getto 6 years, 9 months ago

The arts community needs to give it up. Brownback threw away money for his ideological reasons and it had nothing to do with art or the budget. Let it ride and let him stew in his own theological juices. The leader of the KKKansas Taliban will just have to carry on. Besides, outlawing abortions and birth control is a more important matter for Muscular Sam and his minions; they should concentrate on that. Remember, "When condoms are outlawed, only outlaws will have condoms."

vuduchyld 6 years, 9 months ago

Welcome to Brownbackistan, it's where Kansas used to be Welcome to Brownbackistan, it's our new theocracy!

Alfred_W 6 years, 9 months ago

Please tell me he got a grant to write that song :)

sr80 6 years, 9 months ago

In brownbackistan we only sing psalms!

George Lippencott 6 years, 9 months ago

So our local Dems want to spend money on the arts. I thought education was our highest priority?? Should we not use any and all surplus to fund education (a core state function). Of course we could let the taxpayers keep more of it given that the povernment has destroyed the housing market and the stock market with ill conceived policies poorly regulated.

chootspa 6 years, 9 months ago

Jobs are a nice core priority of the state, too. Plus arts funding actually does go into education with things like music clases and traveling exhibits. It's a small percentage of the budget, but it has a huge economic impact and stimulates the economy.

Ken Hunt 6 years, 9 months ago

Arts are one of the best drivers of the creative class and economic development. Sometimes political leaders reach so far to the left or right that they trip over others in their party trying to prove who is more conservative or liberal. Common sense needs to rule the day - restore the funding to continue to make Kansas dynamic.

riverdrifter 6 years, 9 months ago

"Kansas dynamic"

I like you and I love Kelley Hunt but the two words above are currently incongruous.


Adjective: Not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something; not in place."

blindrabbit 6 years, 9 months ago

rockchalk1977, TomShewmon, and NancyBoy appear to have some sort of aberrant fascination with President Obama. Any subject that they comment on all reverts back to the President. Clinical psychologists would no-doubt have a field day about this condition. Some kind of Freudian implications!

chiefdist2 6 years, 9 months ago

So in following is Sammy also going to halt the funding of the restoration of the art that is our state capital building? Those nasty wall paintings of John Brown and such have got to go. And get that artful Indian off the top of the dome along with those artful ornamentations to the architecture. Oh, Sammy while you are at it remove art from your state letterhead, flag, seal and those little "Pray" desk ornaments that you gave your hired thugs. Everyone in grey robes quick!

George Lippencott 6 years, 9 months ago

chootspa (anonymous) replies… Jobs are a nice core priority of the state

Moderate Responds: Could not disagree more. I do not think it is my job through government spending to provide jobs. I buy goods and services and jobs might result but they are not the primary purpose of my taxes.

I don't believe any of the funds for art in other parts of the budget were cut.

I think the l,ong term economic effect of good education outweighs most of the othere things we do. The number of jobs being thrown about as lost because of Mr Sam's actions defies logic.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 9 months ago

"The number of jobs being thrown about as lost because of Mr Sam's actions defies logic."

As do the vast majority of your posts.

George Lippencott 6 years, 9 months ago

Neve deal with substance if you can put someone who disagrees with you down!!

Kim Murphree 6 years, 9 months ago

Come on people--you who voted for the great jobs creating Republican were fooled. Brownback ran on economic propoganda just to get you to vote for him. He never intended anything other than to immediately enact his radical right-wing agenda. There was a ton of elbowing and quiet winking during his campaign because the few in this state who are the extreme knew what was up. Brownback lied to you, my moderate Republican friends, he never had a plan to make the economy of this state grow. His first concern was to aggregate power to himself from his core supporters--the radicals--appeasing them with anti-abortion, anti-social program agendas, like new "health" regulations on clinics, and closing SRS offices, and cutting funding to education & social is just another one of those places where creative intelligence can flourish...and this governor does NOT want that...he wants you to follow him blindly....if you see the "R" by the will vote for it.....and after all, artists are not good followers...they think too much out of the box. For those of us who actually THINK about who we vote for---its time to get moving on organizing a strong movement to vote him OUT as soon as we can, and vote in those who will stand up for common sense and the Kansas people in the future.

George Lippencott 6 years, 9 months ago

You know the vast majority of the people of Kansas do not live here. Now they may not like what they bought but they bought it in spades.

Now as far as jobs. Mr. Sam believes in private sector jobs. He believes that to create them you make the economic environment attractive to those who actually run businesses and produce such jobs. To do that you, in his opinion, hold taxes to core government functions. In the few short months he has been here, he has been doing that. The recent statement on state revenue suggests his approach might be working.

You are certainly entitled to an opinion on how government should work. It is not surprising that those in a community dominated by government jobs view government jobs as the way to move forward. Most of Kansas does not have such an environment

Since Mr. Sam is not really likely to run for president until at least 2016, we may just have to face him at the polls again. Perhaps treating the rest of Kansas with respect might yield better reception of our opinions then treating them with contempt.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps treating Kansans with respect might yield better reception of your opinion than treating them with contempt. I could say the same to you. What I said is true. They bought something that was advertised as one thing and turned out to be another. That's not contempt, that's a reality check. Asking people to think outside the "R" and the "D" is also not contempt--unless ofcourse you are one of those who cannot take the time to actually analyze the information provided on the candidates--maybe that's you...but that certainly doesn't have to be everyone. My moderate Republican friends DON'T like what this governor is doing. They admit they were deceived. After all, changing abortion rights really has little to do with creating a business friendly atmosphere--Neither does creating a "faith-based" initiative office that we will be taxed and have to pay for. Nor does throwing disabled people to the street by eliminiating services create a more business friendly atmosphere--Let's also be reminded that there are large companies that have tax breaks without creating any new jobs--especially in the oil and gas industries in Kansas--not really a CORE government practice, right? Stop preaching the failed "limited government" philosophy, Kansans need more common sense not more ideologues.

George Lippencott 6 years, 9 months ago

vocal (anonymous) says… Perhaps treating Kansans with respect might yield better reception of your opinion than treating them with contempt."

Moderate Responds

  1. The rest of Kansas is not calling us names as some on here do to the rest of Kansas

  2. I never said I agreed with what I posted about Mr. Sam. I believe that government has a strong role in my life ranging from public safety, national defense, infrastructure, public health, protecting the weak and on and on. I therefore disagree with Mr. Sam on some aspects of his program.

  3. Since this is a Capitalist economy I do not believe that it is government's job to generate jobs. It is government's role to create an economic environment conducive to job creation. By that I mean things such as rule of law, responsible regulation, investments in things too big for the private economy to tackle, responsible tax policy, affordable government and so on.

It is unfortunate that many on here have difficulty with a nuanced perception of government - it being the “doer” of last resort for whatever bothers them. If Mr. Sam is wrong about the arts the rest of Kansas will rise up and smite him. Time will tell.

handley 6 years, 9 months ago

Where is all the money that Brownback's friends are donating to the arts foundation? Just asking.

handley 6 years, 9 months ago

Where is all the money that Brownback's friends are donating to the arts foundation? Just asking.

handley 6 years, 9 months ago

Where is all the money that Brownback's friends are donating to the arts foundation? Just asking.

zzgoeb 6 years, 9 months ago

Let's go over this again...artists rent space, buy supplies, hire help, pay taxes...yeah, real losers. If Gov. Sam REALLY wants to "pay the mortgage" he needs to end ALL farm and business subsidies, as that's not a function of the government either. Oh wait, those are his contributors!!! And quit hiring his high-priced lawyer friends to defend his Taliban-inspired laws.

Ancient Rome had amazing infrastructure, the Coliseum, enjoyed public killings as sport, ad nauseum. But you know the one thing it never had? Any type of great art beyond simple craftsmen and tradesmen?

The greedheads on these boards that trash the arts are simple-minded and mean, period.

George Lippencott 6 years, 9 months ago

Who is trashing the arts??? It is along way from withdrawing some government funds from spending on the "arts" to "trashing the arts"!!!

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