Archive for Monday, February 7, 2011

Brownback signs order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission

Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday explains executive reorganization order that eliminates the Kansas Arts Commission as a state agency and replaces it with a non-profit foundation. Brownback wants to abolish the commission as a cost-cutting move to help mend the state's budget.

February 7, 2011


Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday signed an order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission and replace it with a private organization to raise funds.

Brownback said the cost-cutting move would save taxpayers $600,000 in the next fiscal year, but the Arts Commission said its elimination would cost the state millions of dollars in lost matching funds and revenue generated by arts and culture.

“As I said in my State of the State speech, the days of ever-expanding government are over,” Brownback said at a news conference where he signed the executive reorganization order.

Brownback said the cut is needed to protect funding of “the core functions of state government.”

State government faces a nearly $500 million budget shortfall.

The state will allocate $200,000 to the Kansas Historical Society to assist in the transition of the Arts Commission from a state agency. Brownback’s order will take effect July 1 unless the Kansas Legislature rejects it.

Arts Commission representatives had no immediate response, but have posted a number of statements on the agency’s website.

Under the proposal, Kansas would lose $778,200 in direct funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, and $437,767 in indirect grants and services from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, according to the Arts Commission. In addition, the commission said arts and culture generate more than $15 million in state and local revenue.

Brownback said he thought the non-profit replacement group — the Kansas Arts Foundation — would be able to continue to receive federal funds and raise privately.

The foundation’s board of directors was on hand at Brownback’s signing ceremony.

Bob Swain of Topeka said that when the Topeka city council stopped funding the local arts council it resulted in greater community support of the arts.

“It has risen like a phoenix from the ashes,” he said.


mom_of_three 6 years ago

Brownback said he thought the non-profit replacement group — the Kansas Arts Foundation — would be able to continue to receive federal funds and raise privately.

He thinks? He didn't research it before he made the decision? This could affect the Kansas state historical society, and other organizations, which are important to kansas and its history. But he THINKS it could receive federal funds.

overthemoon 6 years ago

I was struck by that comment as well.

gudpoynt 6 years ago

Oh please. Come off it moron. The health care law was NOT rammed down your throat simply because it passed. Remember the months and months of endless coverage and debate about it? Remember when Obama called a bi-partisan summit that was broadcast live to hash out all the details and concerns? Remember all that? Crammed down your throat indeed!

It could have taken 5 years to get through congress (indeed, many would argue that it took nearly 20), and, if it passed in the end, you'd claim that it was "rammed down your throat".

Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, Palin, Ingram, Beck tell you to complain about something and you simply oblige. Complaint on demand. That's you buddy. You are their favorite type of consumer.

By speaking like a moron, and I assure you, that's what you are doing, you set the bar pathetically low for conservatives, and it becomes very easy to disagree with you.

Sean Livingstone 6 years ago

I hope people can still remember the Cheney and Bush way of doing things: It's either my way or no way. Yeap, that's "great" leadership, but that's also pretty dictatorial. Maybe people should start to fear what the future holds for them. I don't know why suddenly budget deficit becomes such a huge issue for the Republicans?

pfunk81 6 years ago

43% of all statistics are made up on the spot anyway.

kusp8 6 years ago

I always have said it was 75% of facts that are made up on the spot...but I also made that up. Ha.

irvan moore 6 years ago

ah, the art of governing, if only it could be defunded.

Thunderdome 6 years ago

And the steady devolution begins. By the end of his term, Brownback will have us all whipped into the subservient knuckle-draggers he's envisioned.

bluerose 6 years ago

i despise republicans.

well, actually, all politicians. they are all liars.

ksriver2010 6 years ago

Actually, Brownback never lied about this. He has been consistent on his plans to devolve us back into the stone age.

Sean Livingstone 6 years ago

The best comment I've seen.... Brownback thought that we humans still do paintings in the cave.... like those he found in France. He thought that was done pretty recently, maybe 100 years ago.

unelectable 6 years ago

How come I should fear God? Why would God want me to be fearful of God? What would God get from my fear? This has always confused me.

cowboy 6 years ago

tuesday " Brownback declares world is flat"

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Thursday, Brownie declares the planets revolve around the Earth.

jehovah_bob 6 years ago

Dinosaurs are just God's practical joke. Jeeze, I thought everybody new that.

Armored_One 6 years ago

The age part is amusing, but we do share the planet with dinosaurs still. They just aren't as large as they once were. One example would be crocodiles and alligators.

I know, it's a bit early in the day for sarcasm, but still.

Terry Jacobsen 6 years ago

Facts are facts. We must cut spending. It's not fun. But you cannot spend more than you take in. Tough times require tough decisions. Funny the people involved with the Kansas arts foundation are not screaming that the world is coming to an end.

notanota 6 years ago

No, the fact is that we are spending more than we are taking in as a state. The opinion is that the only solution is to cut spending. Raising income is also an option, whether through taxes or through finding new ways to collect federal funds. Tough times call for tough measures. Cutting the arts is a chicken decision that played to the tea party base. It wasn't tough for him at all.

Scotchguard 6 years ago

Maybe everyone earning over $150,000 should be required to pay all income over that amount in taxes. Tough times require tough decisions. There will be LOTS of people hurt by the decision to end the Kansas Arts Commission, mostly the children of middle and low-income families, who will be priced out of classes at the Lawrence Arts Center and other arts-based education in Kansas towns and cities. Arts education will be reserved for the wealthy only.

lmb 6 years ago

You are wrong about that. Scholarships at the Lawrence Arts Center are funded by private donations. Funding from KAC to LAC, if any, is negligible.

Liberty275 6 years ago

Ummm, no. It should read "Maybe everyone earning more than me should be required to pay in tax all income above the amount I make"

You gotta think outside the cone if you want to save bad art.

Sean Livingstone 6 years ago

TJ_in_Lawrence, like the Republicans always said, why am I supporting one industry and eliminating another? I thought the Republicans support free market?

plainspeaking 6 years ago

TJ, I agree with you. But why doesn't the governor address agencies and programs that actually add up to $550 million? Why would we, as a state, want to eliminate an agency that costs only $0.29 per person to fund and receives over $1.2 million in matching federal money?

md 6 years ago

Good job Sam! We are in trouble and need to cut anything it takes to bring solvency to Kansas.

notanota 6 years ago

Cutting out the current governor and most of the state legislators would be a good start.

manfred 6 years ago

This is purely a symbolic gesture; Brownback wants everyone to know he hates art, much like most republicans.

Kansas' debt is 3.3 billion dollars. $600,000 dollars is less than one fiftieth of one percent of that debt. Let's put this in perspective: If Brownback cut one $600,000 expenditure every week, it would take him 105 years to pay off the debt!

For another hypothetical situation, imagine a friend of yours has $10,000 of debt, and his first act is to sell something for $1.80. What would you say to this friend, "Good job, Friend! You need to cut anything it takes to bring solvency to your debt"? Of course not. You'd realize that selling the $1.80 object essentially makes no difference to his situation.

booyalab 6 years ago

Republicans hate sunshine and puppies, too. Don't forget to mention those.

Steve Jacob 6 years ago

"commission said arts and culture generate more than $15 million in state and local revenue."

You got to love how people just pull numbers out of thin air.

booyalab 6 years ago

They're creative. It's their job.

coderob 6 years ago

This is really about bringing us back in line with all of those Kansas stereotypes. The next step is to ban all crops but the sunflower and brick over I-70 with gold.

friendlyjhawk 6 years ago

May his signing hand curl up and rot. Let's hope the next thing he cancels has the same piddly budget that KAC had and generates that same $15 million in state and local revenue. An eye for an eye should now be called a budget for a budget.

jafs 6 years ago

Like education and social services?

No wait, he wants to defund those as well.

pace 6 years ago

I mind him closing KNI more. Moving the remaining population to community services is very bad. The community services aren't equipped to handle the severely disabled. It has taken decades for KNI to develop some of the physical resources and they can concentrate the special trained personnel on site. Losing the institution means the population who needs to be institutionalized won't really have a place to go. it will end up draining the community organizations so they can't or will have even more trouble serve their existing clients. Most are all ready at capacity. It will kill some of the people moved. The governor's blithe response that he will move the population to community settings is a lie. He will not take the responsibility he won't feel responsible. He won't be responsible for any thing more than saying "don't worry, trust me". Hold your breath if you think he really will call around for empty b

If he was serious on the budget, really wanted to save money, cut the economic adventurers funds, the subsidies to corporations, the tax cuts to the wealthiest.
No, he will cut the services to the arts, environment, the helpless, the families, schools and send the money saved to the koch brotherhood's economic adventurers club.

laika 6 years ago

$600,000/$500,000,000 = 0.0012%. Brownback better have some actual ideas if he really cares about closing that deficit and not just waging cultural/ideological war.

grimpeur 6 years ago

Ding ding ding. Winner.

Brownback is simply not serious about improving the state.

laika 6 years ago

You are correct peacemaker, expressed as a percentage this should be .12%. I think the point still stands.

gudpoynt 6 years ago

Republicans obviously do NOT prioritize art, or education, or social services.

What do Republicans prioritize? Private economic freedom. Above all else.

Does that mean liberals hate private economic freedom? No, of course not.

It's not black and white. Never is. It's always a big mess of gray.

And as always, it's all about a difference in priorities.

Personally, I think public education, including art programs, should be a higher priority than they are being treated by this administration. Much higher.

bunnyhawk 6 years ago

Well, BrownieBoy has to fund his tax breaks to his business supporters.........we wouldn't want to Koch Brothers to have to pay their fair share of taxes, now, would we?

Seems loss of federal funding for the arts..........the only state in the nation to do something so unbelievably a small price to pay for keeping the Lords of GOP happy!

Jaminrawk 6 years ago

Oh thank goodness. I felt like the State of Kansas lost it's national reputation for backwards thinking since they tried to eliminate the teaching of evolution so mnay years ago. It comforts me to know my home state is again setting the ignorance standard in the eyes of the rest of the nation.

Scotchguard 6 years ago

With this move, Kansas will be the ONLY STATE in the United States without a government-funded arts commission. Yep, we ARE going backwards....

aa469285 6 years ago

Not true. Vermont eliminated their program years ago.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Actually, I don't think they ever had one.

But the state still provides funding for it.

gudpoynt 6 years ago

bozo is right. Vermont's started out as a private organization.

However, they still receive state funds.

We will be the first state to actual move from a state funded Arts commission to a private one. And we will be the first state that provide any funding at all to that organization.

There was a story all about it on that leftist media conspiracy radio program known as NPR.

LiberalDude 6 years ago

Best comment on this article and 100% true!

notanota 6 years ago

A couple thousand less than they did last year.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

"Bob Swain of Topeka said that when the Topeka city council stopped funding the local arts council it resulted in greater community support of the arts."

And why has that happened? Because the Kansas Arts Commission has increased the amount of funding directed into Shawnee County.

Oops. Somebody tell these guys you don't have to lie to make friends.

Alceste 6 years ago

There is "art" in Kansas?????? WHERE?

Liberty275 6 years ago

It's all out in Stan Herd's yard.

I wonder... How much of my tax money does Mr Herd need every year? My guess is, Mr Herd could buy me.

Moral: art doesn't need to be funded by the state. Am artist will work for free, an exceptional artist will work for middle-class money and a very exceptional artist will work for millions in private commissions.

Kontum1972 6 years ago

he only pays himself....the minions who work for him receive "zero"...and he recieves all the glory...

he is busy doing commercials now with Max...for Crown..Elvis has left the parking lot.

Fossick 6 years ago

"There is "art" in Kansas?????? WHERE?"

It depends on what you mean. I'm an artist in Kansas: I create video games, game mods, and all kinds of techy art stuff. Are they any good? Well, two of my mods are being published/distributed this month by the biggest gaming mag in Europe as part of their "Best of 2010" series, and one is being translated into German by a team over there.

Here's the difference between Kansas 'artists': I give my art away, for free, to anyone. I let anyone copy it and I don't even mind if they modify it so long as they tell me first. I create what I do because I like to create and I like to see people enjoying my creations. I like the kudos that I get when someone thinks I've created something worthwhile. It makes me feel good (I'm selfish that way).

I would never dream, however, about asking the state to tax someone and give me money because I think my art is good for them. I think my art is good for me. To demand others pay for what I create is either lazy on my part, doubly selfish, or condescending beyond belief. For most arts supporters here it's obviously the last of the three, but there are plenty for whom the first two apply as well.

booyalab 6 years ago

Great post. It reminds me of a story I read from novelist Elizabeth Gilbert. She had a filmmaker friend who wrote a letter to his hero, Werner Herzog, agonizing about how hard it is to be a filmmaker and get funding. Herzog writes back, essentially saying, “Quit your complaining. It’s not the world’s fault that you wanted to be an artist. It’s not the world’s job to enjoy the films you make, and it’s certainly not the world’s obligation to pay for your dreams. Nobody wants to hear it. Steal a camera if you have to, but stop whining and get back to work.”

gudpoynt 6 years ago

well hello mr. grumpy pants.

All artists sure could use your can-do attitude!

Forget about even thinking of trying to possibly provide some sort additional resource or encouragement for emerging artists.

Eff those artsy fartsy types looking for a handout just so they can glue magazine clippings together into crappy collages. Because that's all they're doing with that money, right? Right?

Fossick 6 years ago

Grumpy? Ha! I'm freaking thrilled that Brownback is privatizing the commission. May be some grumpy people here, but you can bet your next tax cut I'm not one of 'em.

But in all fairness, a few of those collages are really nice. That doesn't make it right to force other people to pay for them. I suggest Ebay.

question4u 6 years ago

So Brownback is suggesting that Kansas is in such dire financial trouble that we have no choice but to become the only state that won't fund the arts? Mike O'Neil is already suggesting that the future of Kansas is so bleak that we need to lower our expectations for a "suitable" education in a state that, according to the latest U. S. News & World Report statistics, has its high schools ranked 46th in the nation. The message from our leaders is that Kansas is so far in the toilet that we have no choice but to become last among states in funding culture and to try for last place in funding education. Maybe Brownback is right that a low quality of life will attract businesses. After all, Mexico got all those maquiladoras.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years ago

This is a sad day, but don't blame Brownback. He's trying to fix something that should NEVER have gotten to be this bad.

He has two choices: raise taxes or cut spending. I'm in my mid-40s and all I've seen politicians do is raise taxes, even when I read their lips and their lips said "No New Taxes". We will either be the "cut spending generation" or we'll be the generation that went bankrupt.

If the state goes bankrupt, the Arts Commission and many other programs will die. Let's be glad we can still choose what to cut and what to keep.

notanota 6 years ago

Actually, out taxes are at historic lows. Federal taxes are lower than they've been since the 1950's. Sales tax has gone up in Kansas, but only because Kansas lacks the balls to raise income tax.

average 6 years ago

Well, it depends on where you fall on the income scale. Certainly, taxes are at the lowest level they've been since Hoover if you're making high-six figures, and especially if a lot of that is investment income (flat cap-gains, qualified dividends, etc). Best time to be a millionaire in this country in several generations.

If you're a $20-$30k a year person, not eligible for things like EITC, hit by the Reagan-raised payroll taxes, and the GOP-run Kansas legislature-raised sales tax, you're quite likely paying substantially more of your income in total taxes than someone in the same percentile of income in the 50s, 60s, or 70s.

notanota 6 years ago

Yes, but I was speaking of income taxes. When you look at all the regressive taxes imposed on us both by the state and fed, those are definitely not at lows. And we'll see more of them, because the only taxes people tend to pay attention to are the ones they fill out on a form each year.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

The state has cut over $1 billion in spending. For someone in their mid-40's you sure seem to make stuff up a lot. Are you sure you aren't in your mid-4's?

David Robinett 6 years ago

Hi Captain K! thought you were dead...

OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years ago

Anyone angry about this needs to send their hate mail the the Democrats and Republicans who sat in that office the 25 years prior. They were the ones that failed to find new industries to supplement the agriculture and aircraft industries in Kansas. They put us here.

Education, the arts, mental health services, etc. all require a robust tax BASE. We don't have that. We can't just do what we want to do; we have to fund it with revenue that comes from a more robust economy than we have in Kansas.

It's not about values as much as it is about ability. We can't fund the things we value. Brownback isn't an idiot. He knows that the arts are meaningful, but he also knows that we can't pay for everything we find meaningful.

I love strip steaks, but it's been a long time (years?) since I bought one from the day-old case at Checkers because I can't afford it. Why do we expect the state to be different?

We need to quit whining about how much we like steak and find a way to enjoy the taste of red beans and rice.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

Over $1 billion in spending cuts over the last 3 years. Why do you keep omitting that from your whining?

A budget that could be balanced without eliminating the Arts Commission, in fact the Legislature could pass last year's budget and adjourn tomorrow. Why don't you mention that?

You whine and you make stuff up. You're not old enough to by someone's brother.

Mike Ford 6 years ago

fascists always attack the arts because they associate the arts with intellect and thought two things fascists don't want to confront. They like their constituency, rural, religious, judgemental, and paranoid. Having been the son of clergy in rural areas I witnessed this firsthand. This governor was the preacher in Footloose wasn't he?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years ago

Here's the problem: It's cheap and easy to criticize with statements like this one, but like nearly all the other statements like this one, you've proposed nothing. What's your plan? Tell us what path you'd take to fix the problem. What should he do differently that will put our budget where it needs to be.

Fossick 6 years ago

The purpose was not to propose anything, nor even to speak the truth. Fascists don't "attack" the arts, they co-opt them in the service of the state. It is probably the most ironic point about this whole preposterous argument: independent-minded artists "speaking the truth to power" while whining for its succor.

Liberty275 6 years ago

Here I sit, being called a fascist by a semi-literate for agreeing it's a good idea to discontinue state funding of the Kansas art commission, in spite of the fact I have a MFA and own more original artwork than my accuser will ever be allowed to touch..

Instead of complaining about the government not giving away enough of my money, maybe tuschkahouma should gyve some of his to local artists for pieces of their work.

BigPrune 6 years ago

It's too bad so much crap is considered art work. Give me an empty milk jug and I'll put a string on it and call it good art. Kansas art sucks. Just look at the final Fridays extravaganza of junk being pushed as art. I know, I know, I don't know art, I just know garbage some consider "art." Good riddance.

jafs 6 years ago


Except that Van Gogh, Beethoven, and many other artists and musicians weren't appreciated in their day, but history has judged them to be outstanding.

Liberty275 6 years ago

How much money did Van Gogh get from the state?

Fossick 6 years ago

Except that Beethoven was appreciated in his day, being the piano instructor for the daughters of the Holy Roman empress and having a number of patrons (think 18th Century Koch brothers) who supported him. He played his first concerts at about 7 years of age and performed publicly all his life.

Van Gogh on the other hand was recognized in his day a talented lunatic; today his style is copied by lunatics who simply lack his talent and persistence.

jafs 6 years ago

I'm sure you got my point.

Also, Beethoven (and Mozart) had more trouble than, say, Haydn, who got a nice cushy long term position.

The list of unappreciated artists is long - and our subsequent re-evaluation of them is clear. Popularity within a small time frame is fleeting, and no guarantee of quality.

jafs 6 years ago

And, of course, nobody liked the Grosse Fuge, or his later string quartets, etc. at the time.

Kontum1972 6 years ago

an a booger with a hair in it..

overthemoon 6 years ago

Just who are these people on the board of the 'kansas arts foundation'?

overthemoon 6 years ago

This may end up being an ok situation, but it would have been a good move to discuss this with various arts groups concerned about the ramifactions of this decision. The fact that he did this today when there is a rally at the State house planned for Thursday is a tangible slap in the face to a fair sized group of his constituents.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Minor cuts that may have broad implications. We are artistic chimps and we need that part of our lives to be fully human. Art stimulates deep and ancient parts of our brain that we need for full functionality. In an age where 'academics' are scrutinized, we need the arts to help stimulate the rest of our consciousness. Exposure to art, and artistic training, help build better academic students. The arts will survive, as they must, but this is not good governance and will have unintended consequences far beyond the pittance which is saved.

Liberty275 6 years ago

Go find some woods. Pick up broken branches, then arrange them in whatever manner you desire. That should satisfy your chimp-lust for artistic stimulation and I won't have to pay for it unless I like it.

All this whining is about the socialization of art, where everyone can be equally an artist. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. You are either an artist or you are not. All the money in the world will make no difference.

As for exposure to art, I'm not aware of any gallery that charges admission nor do I know of any large museums that don't allow you to walk in for free or a donation either all the time or on selected days.

overthemoon 6 years ago

Guess you haven't been to any museums lately. Nelson Atkins charges admission, and tickets special exhibitions. So does the Chicago Art Institute, the Field Museum, Denver art museum, the Getty in LA...I make a point of going to museums whenever I travel. I often buy a membership that allows me to get a 'group' price in cities with multiple museums.

Liberty275 6 years ago

Just stop.

"Admission is free to the Nelson-Atkins every day. "

notanota 6 years ago

They used to charge admissions, and now they just charge for parking.

Kookamooka 6 years ago

I was outraged about his last night. Unfortunately all of the artists I know from other states had a different reaction. They were surprised Kansas had an Arts Commission. I kept hearing disheartening statements like..."Really? What do they do?" So I guess we had a bad backward reputation before this fiasco.

I can tell you this...unless the Koch Brothers single-handedly fund this new foundation, (like they funded the State Theatre in Lincoln Center and changed it's name to the David Koch theatre) it will not be picked up by any one.

Richard Renner 6 years ago

I have been a part of the Arts Commission as an artist for over 20 years and can see the things they do every day. Those murals downtown were helped in funding from the KAC, the programs at the Lawrence Arts Center are funded in part by KAC, the many festivals in Lawrence and all over the state get a portion of their funding from the KAC. Also, if you go out into rural KS where tax bases and companies don't donate to the arts you will still find arts councils that provide projects and programs because of the KAC. This move on Brownback's part is amazingly ill informed and will affect many things that we aren't aware of yet. There will have to be some replacement but I am not sure how that will work right now.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Kooka: They just might for the P.R. value. They give lots of money to the arts and, as they should, take advantage of the tax breaks. The Kochkansas Arts Commission? Why not.

bd 6 years ago

frickin whiners! What is your solution??

Tea anyone???

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Raise taxes and eliminate corporate tax exemptions.

Cut K12 education.

Institute a means test for medicare.

Cut state contracts by 10%.

Does Sam have the intestinal fortitude for these? We shall see.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

Sam, you are 1/100th of the way to erasing the state's deficit. Now, if only there were 100 more arts commissions to cut.

Sam, when will you start making real cuts? To K12 education and to medicare? How about cutting spending on tax cuts? Stop trimming around the edges.

jafs 6 years ago

Not only should he not cut education, he should fund it at the level established as correct by the legislature and ruled on by the Supreme Court of KS.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

I stand corrected. 1/1000th of the way there. All he needs is 1000 more arts commissions to cut.

jafs 6 years ago


We should make their lives as miserable as possible in the hope that it will stimulate great art.

zzgoeb 6 years ago

Yes, we are nearly buried in junk art here in Lawrence!!! And the more than 200 artists that live here don' t spend any money, or contribute to the community, or pay taxes right? What's wrong with good ol' Governor Sam is the same thing that's wrong with the greedheads that post here!! Art has played such a useless role in life and society; it's really only fingerpainting right? And we all remember the famous artists that came out of the Communist bloc for sure!!! A well-informed citizenry includes one that admires beauty and supports the arts...wake up you knuckleheads...

jayhawklawrence 6 years ago

Obviously, it is a time for sacrifice but it is also a time that challenges us to be creative in finding new ways to generate income.

Time to make lemonade out of lemons.

I think Obama needs to help the aircraft industry in Wichita get back on its feet. The small private aircraft industry especially took a big hit down there and his political rhetoric did not help at all. Time to make amends.

I would also like to see a more creative ideas in how to get Americans buying American made products again. I think they may do a better job with that in other countries, such as Germany.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

This cut will eliminate jobs, jobs that pour money into the economy.

How many new jobs will be created because of this cut? Tell us, defenders of eliminating jobs, how many new jobs will this spending cut create?

Senator Sam has promised to create 100,000 new jobs, but so far all he has done is eliminated a bunch of them. For every job this cut eliminates, two new jobs need to be created.

So if you favor this cut and this elimination of jobs, then step up to the plate and explain all the new jobs that will now be created once the Arts Commission is eliminated.

And please, no philosophical or hypothetical musings about big government, etc. These are real jobs that spend real money being really eliminated.

You now need to provide real evidence of real jobs being really created.

mom_of_three 6 years ago

I just expected him to do more research regarding whether the foundation could receive the federal funds, other than he thought. He needs to know for sure

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

And eliminating jobs will create a health economy? How will it do that, and how many new jobs will eliminating these jobs create?

thatonedude 6 years ago

Soooo.... To respond to economic pressure, we should eliminate thousands of jobs, and lose millions of dollars in revenue and matching out-of-state funds? How does that work?

Fossick 6 years ago

"This cut will eliminate jobs, jobs that pour money into the economy."

Except that they don't pour anything into the economy that is not first taken out of it.

Where does the money that government-funded artists spend at the grocery store come from? It comes from taxing the grocer in the first place. The state cannot create money, inject money, or net pour money into the economy. All it can do is move it from unfavored constituents like grocers to favored ones, like artists.

Government-funded artists create art. They do not create net jobs and they do not create any money. Since each cent that is given to them is a cent taken from elsewhere, that means every job 'created' for them is a job that is eliminated somewhere else, whether one can point a finger at a specific lost job or not.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

So you happily admit you favor eliminating jobs. How many new jobs will this elimination create?

Also, your declaration is patently false. Funding for the arts will put the money back into the economy and then some.

Government funded art programs create jobs, those jobs create more jobs.

Ever cent put into a government funded art program results in 20 cents of economic growth. So that's 19 extra cents for you, don't you want your 19 cents?

Regardless, you happily admit you are eliminating jobs. How many new jobs will this create?

Fossick 6 years ago

Either you have missed the point, Mr. Keeshan, or you are bad at math. If X jobs are created by pouring this money into the economy, how many are destroyed by pulling it out in the first place? The same X. Government arts do not create net jobs, as I said, they simply create jobs in a place that makes them easy to count.

The 'multiplier' for arts funding is bullpuckey - there is nothing magical about painting or symphony that make it any more economically useful than whatever activity the government quashed by taxing the artists' salary out in the first place. If you apply the reasoning that underlies the arts multiplier to any other activity, the numbers work out precisely the same.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

It is mularkey because you declare it so.

Brilliant argument. Is the sky also plaid?

Fossick 6 years ago

It's mularkey because X=X. If X in creates X jobs, then X out creates -X. In your world the sky is not plaid, I guess, yet the government is a perpetual motion machine that can generate unlimited amounts of economic growth simply by giving money away.

Nota: I'm not assuming that that artists are all on government wages; it doesn't matter a whit if they are. Mr. Keeshan's argument amounts to saying that taking money from your pocket and then putting back in doubles it. As soon as that math starts to work, then we'll be able to hire everyone full time as an artist and have infinite economic growth.

I for one can't wait.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

You're an absolutist, perhaps the sky should be plaid for you. It would be what you currently see, which is black and white.

Yes, everyone should be hired as a full time government artist. Or, on the flip side, reasonable appropriations, matched with additional funds and grants, spread across multiple communities, act as seed money and spur economic growth.

But I suppose all you understand is, "These burritos are good, so that must mean you will eat nothing but burritos".


Fossick 6 years ago

No, Mr. Bob, I just happen to understand the economic assumptions behind your words, even if you do not. I do not argue that you cannot spur economic growth in one place, under the lights, where all good econometricians like to look. If you spend money, they will come.

I also have no doubt that I can buy a very nice house if I take money from you and combine it with my own. I have no doubt that I will enjoy it very much and host many stylish parties in it. The place will be rocking and I will be the envy of all.

What you seem to deny is that you will have to buy a correspondingly poorer house for the very same reason.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

How is it possible for your examples to get worse every time?

Truly bringing the crazy now.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

It is mularkey because you declare it so.

Brilliant argument. Is the sky also plaid?

notanota 6 years ago

You're assuming the artist subsists entirely on government wages. That is not the case. Many grants require matching grants from other sources, fees for students, ticket admission, etc. KAC grants are the starting point, not the entire system. And we pulled down federal matching grants on top of what the state spent.

There are all sorts of ripples that expand beyond just what X grant recipient spends at Y business, even if we don't consider the part where they're not entirely funded by government spending. Theater patrons getting a bite at a restaurant, for example. They're not spending tax money, and they're stimulating the economy. If you buy your kid a ballet outfit or tap shoes for their (subsidized but not free) lessons, you're spending non tax money in the local economy.

It's not a matter of spending money in a closed loop any more than investing in a business always yields precisely the amount invested in return.

If you wanted to argue during a healthy economy that arts spending was unnecessary, I'd listen, but in the current economy, this is precisely the sort of austerity measure that will lead us into further economic dispair and job loss, not out of it.

kinder_world 6 years ago

Other states are also eliminating their Arts Commission. Texas and South Carolina. These services were add-ons when times where good. Eliminate them. Just as Lawrence should also cut funding to Arts Center and golf course.

Sean Livingstone 6 years ago

Why not I say this? Let's just close down Kansas, and move everyone out of the state. We'll solve the budget deficit once and for all..... Pretty good solution?

optimist 6 years ago

I don't see a role for the state in funding the arts or a number of other agencies for that matter. If the arts are so valuable to you then you should attend fund raisers, cut a check or donate your time and talents in supporting them. Taking money from Kansas tax payers especially in the lean times doesn't make much sense.

Funding the arts should not supersede lowering taxes or other priorities. All of you who are complaining would have the governor take money away from other agencies that actually provide basic services to those in need or away from working families already struggling to get by or businesses which will respond by reducing overhead which means less investing in growth and human resources (i.e. jobs) resulting in more people in need; but of course we would still have the government funded arts for the starving families to appreciate.

What did the arts ever do before government?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

How are you going to spend the 29 cents this is going to save you?

mr_right_wing 6 years ago

I'd label this 'common sense' but so few on here grasp that. (Especially the last post--bozo.)

lounger 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jamieg99 6 years ago

This is a pittance-- we are facing a larger deficit than this could dent. Kansas, if you're so glad to be rid of us, I'm happy to move. I'll be out of here in 9 months and counting. This place is just too sad.

Fossick 6 years ago

Please, no false promises like all the artists who promised to leave the country if el presidente pasado was re-elected. Tantrums are unbecoming, even for artists.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Translation: Don't worry, be happy, and please don't have any opinions that aren't teaparty-approved.

Fossick 6 years ago

No, translation: boo hoo hoo. "I'm just going to leave then" is a tantrum, not an argument. If you want to leave, well, we don't have anyone guarding the border. Adios.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

jamieg99 made an argument, but you chose to criticize him/her over their probable reaction to what's likely to be a four-year attack on anything and everything that's not "business-friendly."

And if they have someplace better to go, it's not an unreasonable choice.

Fossick 6 years ago

That's arts funding "is a pittance" is not an argument as much as it is a perfectly reasonable observation, though I note with some irony that the smaller the pittance, the louder opponents of its elimination scream at the thought. It is somehow too inconsequential to make a difference yet too important to live without. From that point on, however, his argument is the rhetorical equivalent of "I'm going to hold my breath until I turn blue."

And I wasn't criticizing as much as I was mocking. Petulant artists who pull the "I'm going to leave" card seldom do. It's a pity really. Whether they have a better place to go or not, they would surely leave the rest of us with one.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"And I wasn't criticizing as much as I was mocking. "

True there, and oh so much better an argument than the holding of one's breath.

Fossick 6 years ago

Consider it a work of art. Where's my check from the commission?

jafs 6 years ago

It's small relative to the KS budget, but consequential to the artists and organizations that use it.

mr_right_wing 6 years ago

Does the NEA still give out grants to move to a more 'artsy' area?

No worries...

Fossick 6 years ago

Hey, I just figured out what to do with my 29 cents!

Liberty275 6 years ago

You know where the door shouldn't hit you on the way out, right?

thatonedude 6 years ago

If anyone feels like complaining about this en masse, we're holding a rally in downtown Topeka on Thursday, from noon to 1pm. There will be speakers from around the arts community in Kansas, a performance by the Topeka High School drumline, and, since it's been decidedly cold out, free hot chocolate.

liberallibrarian 6 years ago

Thanks for posting this. I had heard about it but wasn't sure of the time.

notanota 6 years ago

Good. I wish I could attend, but I'll be stuck at work. I hope it has a huge turnout.

booyalab 6 years ago

Let me get this straight, you will be volunteering your time to do something you're interested in and other people will be volunteering their time to encourage others to volunteer their time to hear them volunteer to speak. All the while, someone volunteered money to fund hot chocolate for everyone who attends and even some musicians are volunteering to perform. ..........and you still think that the arts will die without anyone being coerced to pay for them?

notanota 6 years ago

I don't know where you buy your hot chocolate, but I'm guessing it doesn't cost $600,000 and come with matching NEA grants.

mr_right_wing 6 years ago

When you just can't afford stuff just can't afford it. (We don't have the same option of just printing more money like Obama does.)

It's time for you art lovers to step up and financially (and any other way) support this Kansas Arts Foundation. There are enough people who love art and have the means, they're the ones who now need to act to lessen the impact of this.

I voted for Mr. Brownback to make these tough, no-win decisions...and I promise you, this will not be the last one that will have you crying "the sky is falling!! the sky is falling!!)

thatonedude 6 years ago

Said it before, and I'll say it again: the KAC brings in revenue. Something around fifteen million a year. You can't cry about not being able to afford something when the state profits from it.

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

Where are the jobs? So far there's a lot of job loss, and no job growth.

Looks like you voted for someone to carry out your social engineering goals. Who will stand up and create jobs to replace the ones you happily eliminate?

jafs 6 years ago

So you support his reducing funding to education, social services and the arts?

And trying to eliminate corporate income taxes?

average 6 years ago

I'll give to local arts foundations and artists. I won't be giving to the 'Friends of Sam' arts foundation that is being set up to compete for arts funding with the agencies that the KAC used to support.

notajayhawk 6 years ago

There was a recent poll in this paper asking what people suggest be cut to balance the state's budget. The consensus appeared to be 'whatever doesn't affect ME personally'. Everybody wants to continue funding education, healthcare, social services, the arts, etc., etc., etc., and where do they plan to get the money for all that? Simple: raise taxes.

Someone ELSE's taxes, of course.

notanota 6 years ago

I'm happy to pay more taxes. Now, now, none of that childish "Then send in a tax donation" bs. It only works if they multiply my contribution by everyone else in the same tax bracket. A tax bracket, btw, that is ridiculously low for what I earn and could be raised a percent without any impact on my lifestyle.

booyalab 6 years ago

So you're happy for other people to pay more taxes.

notanota 6 years ago

Yes. I'd be extra happy for you to pay the mostest of all.

Fossick 6 years ago

Yes, it's "bs" because it would require you to put your money where your mouth is. It's easy and oh so sanctimonious to say, "I would gladly pay more so long as everyone else does". It's as brave as a man who will charge a machine gun nest so soon as the whole army goes with him.

What it means is that you are really not happy to pay more taxes, but you want a benefit paid for by many and are willing to chip in a little to get it. If paying more taxes really made you happy, you'd simply pay them regardless of what anyone else does.

notanota 6 years ago

What it means is that I'm a pragmatist unwilling to part with money in a meaningless gesture to satisfy Internet strangers. I'm not asking others to do something I'm not wiling to do myself.

notajayhawk 6 years ago

Thankfully, you don't get to make that decision for "everyone else in the same tax bracket". And yes, by saying that you'll only pay higher taxes if "everyone else in the same tax bracket" pays more, too, then you ARE saying raise someone else's taxes.

BTW, that's quite a copout. I know I mentioned a lot of state funded programs, but this thread is about the arts commission. I'm sure there are any number of worthwhile artists, arts commissions, and art projects that would love to have your extra 1%. If this is something that's important to you, then why don't you give it to them?

notanota 6 years ago

Like I said to the person who seems to have gone poof, what it means is that I'm not asking anything of someone else that I'm not willing to do myself. Can't say the same about that handy dandy flip "donate it to the IRS" response...

notanota 6 years ago

Woah, weird bug. His comments disappeared, and now they're back.

notajayhawk 6 years ago

Actually, what you said is that your 'generosity' is dependent on what everyone else does. Again, you are only willing to do your part if everyone else does, which gives you a handy excuse. Fossick's analogy of the machine gun nest was quite apt. But if you want a more localized one, suppose there's a playground or vacant lot in your neighborhood that's full of trash - what you're saying is you're going to complain about it all the time, but you're only going to go out there and get your hands dirty cleaning it up if everyone else helps.

I didn't say anything about donating your money in taxes. The examples I gave are ones which could benefit from private contributions as well. And some things - like the arts - might arguably be more appropriately funded through private donations. If you can afford another 1% of your income without any hardship, and YOU think funding of the arts is important to YOU, then get off your posterior, grab your checkbook, and make a donation to a worthwhile arts commission or organization.

notanota 6 years ago

Analogy fail. Cleaning a playground is something that would actually make a difference, and I have and would clean up someone else's trash. I've cleaned up a lot worse than that. However, I might as well throw my money off a bridge if I'm the only contributor to something as large as a statewide budget, especially when that budget has already eliminated the project I want to fund. It would be pure empty symbolism.

I also do donate and volunteer time to charity and can and do support the arts. However, my efforts and our efforts are now being undermined by Brownback's culture war. We cannot pull down NEA grants, and our state will lose jobs because of it. The KCA was appropriate, and that's what I want to fund, not a foundation.

You've spun "raise someone else's taxes" as any act that raises taxes, so I'll turn that around and say that you wish hardships on others in order to lower your own taxes.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

"livingstone (anonymous) says… Why not I say this? Let's just close down Kansas, and move everyone out of the state. We'll solve the budget deficit once and for all..... Pretty good solution?" === LS: The irony may escape some in a state (like most others) where education and public services are 90%+ of the general fund. If Muscular Sam can reduce the budget 5-6% a year and make it stick each time, if the trend continues, in 15-18 years or so, there will be no general fund budget in Kochkansas. Will the last person heading to Oklahoma please turn out the lights?

notajayhawk 6 years ago

Math wasn't one of your best subjects, was it?

Shane Garrett 6 years ago

During lunch??? And cold outside?? I only protest during nice weather and if BBQ sandwiches are being given out. Save the arts! Basketball now that is an art. We need more basketball courts and baseball diamonds.

overthemoon 6 years ago

To Scott Rothschild:

Please see if you can find more information on this 'Commission'. Who are the board members? What is their experience in Arts Administration? How were they selected? Are they gov. appointments? What is their relationship to Brownback...campaign donors? What is their mission or charter. How does it define 'the arts'. How will this commission operate under the State Historical Society?

The potential problem I see here, if these people are appointed by the Governor, is that we will have Government control or censoring of the arts thru selective administration and fundraising. I hope that is not the case and that this move may actually create a more robust means for supporting the arts without the hassle of dealing with a state agency. On the other hand....

Steve Bunch 6 years ago

The one who was named yesterday (Kerry something or other) is a former guitar player in the band Kansas, who is now an evangelical missionary.

newmedia 6 years ago

The unshaven tweed jackets have their dainties in a bunch, again! Long live their continued source of humor...

DB Ashton 6 years ago

Art will do just fine on its own; maybe better.

Government needs art more than art needs government. And no amount of art will make this administration look pretty. But then, you asked for it. So enjoy.

rgh 6 years ago

This is just the beginning folks. Those who voted for him should be ashamed of themselves as you knew going in he was going to cut programs, cut education, and cut just for fun. We need a republican like Bill Graves back in office who really cares about Kansas not his own legacy.

notajayhawk 6 years ago

"Those who voted for him should be ashamed of themselves as you knew going in he was going to cut programs ..."

Which just might be WHY we voted for him.

Scott Tichenor 6 years ago

Yea, you know, the funds to fuel Kris Klownbach's voter registration card for millions of Kansan's has to come from somewhere.

Steve Bunch 6 years ago

Please try to make sense when you write.

pace 6 years ago

"We can't just tax the rich" are you out of your mind? The wealthiest are not paying a fair share, they are increasing their wealth while the under employed are paying their taxes. " We can't just tax the rich," we sure as heck should try!

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

This state is going to be ruined before he is through.

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

your funny, but do not know what the hell you are talking about.

jafs 6 years ago

If the folks that voted for Brownback are happy with his approach, then our system is working as it should.

If, on the other hand, they have any problems with his cutting education and social service funding after he promised to protect them, and cutting arts funding, and proposing eliminating corporate income taxes, then they should let him know.

And, perhaps, not vote for him next time around.

jafs 6 years ago

My main concern here is that people who voted for him are aware of what he's actually doing, and that they support that.

If they do, then the system is working - the majority of voters made their choice, and they're happy with it.

If not, then they should speak up and/or change the way they vote.

I'm particularly interested in the fact that he campaigned on a promise to protect education and social service funding, and is immediately cutting them. It's one thing to vote for somebody who says they'll cut that funding, and another to vote for them when they promise to protect it.

I just want to make sure that people are aware of how quickly and completely he's breaking that promise, and hold him accountable for it.

notajayhawk 6 years ago

Hmm. Sounds like someone's calling for a Giffords-like incident. Typical hate-mongering, violence-inciting left-wingnut.

jafs 6 years ago

Except he promised to protect education and social service funding, and is cutting them instead.

When he made those promises, did you know he would do the opposite? And wanted him to?

mr_right_wing 6 years ago

So now what do you do with this anger and/or disgust? You're probably just going to sit around, blog, complain to some friends and that's it.

Why not use some of that energy in a more constructive way. You're mad? Call the Lawrence Arts Center (or any of a huge number of art-related non-profits in our town) TOMORROW and tell them you're mad and ask them what you can do to help. Volunteer, both. (if it is that important to you, you'll make the time...or you'll make that extra little sacrifice in your budget...if...if it is important to you,'s probably not.)

But what will 99% of you do? You'll get on here again tomorrow and repeat the same stuff you posted today, because the arts only mean anything to you if you don't have to move out of your own lazy comfort zone.

Open another bag of potato 'glee' on tonight? Hey, that's art related!!!!!

pace 6 years ago

I buy art. I am surprised Brownbeck and Kochbrotherhood don't have a painting burning party. I am sure they would throw in some science books and glow in the fire light of Kansas culture burning. I find the hate for art, learning, science the most disgusting aspect of the radical right. Kansas has great minds and talents, it doesn't matter if someone is from a farm or working class family. It isn't the toads in Topeka who make this state. It took generations to develop support for the arts, to develop good schools, to develop services to the disabled, Now the plan is to "defund" Kansas programs and give the money to the wealthiest. What is the plan, to transfer the facilities to the "church of Koch"?

Kookamooka 6 years ago

I agree with Pace. Republicans want to "Make Kansas Stupid". That should be their bumper sticker. Maybe Kansas already is stupid....Kansas votes Republican.

Armored_One 6 years ago

I see a lot of fingerpointing and name calling, but a lot of you seem to want the cart to arrive a few days before the horse does.

Yes, this is a relatively small drop in a large bucket, but not only do you have to start somewhere, how loudly would you complain if Brownback did the exact opposite and increased the funding in the face of a budget crisis.

Yes, changing the amount of funding for the arts does suck a bit, considering I'm vaguely an artist. But in all honesty, it's really not that bad of an idea to change it to non-profit and at least try to free up a little cash in the budget.

Enough small drops and you get a full bucket.

Kontum1972 6 years ago

So when do the "Artists Death Squads" take effect?

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

This is sand to the tide. It is not a meaningful cut in terms of the budget deficit.

It is meaningful in the culture wars that Sam and his ilk imagine in their heads.

This paltry cut (1/1000th of the budget shortfall) is viewed as a blow to the heart of the perceived intellectuals and uppity high-falutin' types who are imposing their socialist agenda on regular ol' Kansans.

It is another tilt at a windmill in the culture wars. It is nearly meaningless to the budget, but it gets the right-wing populists all stirred up.

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