Archive for Saturday, July 23, 2011

Brownback names 6 new arts commissioners

July 23, 2011


— Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday appointed six members to the Kansas Arts Commission, which he de-funded by veto, and repeated his vow to help raise private dollars to support the arts.

“I am committed to the success of arts in our state,” Brownback said. Earlier this month, Brownback announced he would contribute $30,153 left over from his inaugural committee to the Kansas Arts Foundation, which he formed to raise funds.

In May, Brownback vetoed $689,000 in funding for the Arts Commission, making Kansas the first state in the nation to eliminate state funding of a state arts board. Supporters of the commission said the veto would cost the state $1.2 million in federal matching arts funds.

Despite the veto, the commission still exists in statute as a board.

The appointments, plus Brownback’s earlier pick of Linda Weis as chairwoman of the commission, gives the governor’s appointees a majority on the 12-member board.

Appointed on Friday:

• Christopher Burger, a partner in the law firm of Stevens & Brand in Lawrence

• Kathy Herzog, a health care administrator and business owner from Wichita

• Sandra Hartley, an attorney from Concordia

• Ronda Rodman, who has worked in the floral, landscape and animal agriculture industry and is the wife of Kansas Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman

• Cynda Wright of Hutchinson, who has a wide variety of leadership experience in not-for-profit groups

• David Lindstrom of Overland Park. He currently serves on the Johnson County Commission, is a former Kansas City Chief and was a franchisee of four Burger Kings in the Kansas City area.


riverdrifter 6 years ago

"David Lindstrom of Overland Park. He currently serves on the Johnson County Commission, is a former Kansas City Chief and was a franchisee of four Burger Kings in the Kansas City area."

Well now, here's a man of the arts.


Glenn Reed 6 years ago

Oh, come on, now...

Go do an image search on "Burger King." How is that NOT fine art?

saraj 6 years ago

What's the criteria for being appointed to anything by Brownback? Certainly not any expertise in the field to which they are appointed........

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Being a contributor to his campaign and/or a part of his "good ol' boy" network.

saraj 6 years ago

What's the criteria for being appointed to anything by Brownback? Certainly not any expertise in the field to which they are appointed........

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Do you suppose Sam got turned down by any potential "commissioners?" Or did he only ask those he knew wouldn't turn him down? (which nearly anyone actually associated with the arts would)

question4u 6 years ago

“I am committed to the success of arts in our state,” Brownback said.

What's the point of saying something so manifestly untrue? Is he stupid or does he think that everyone else is? Even those who think that eliminating the Arts Commission was the best thing ever should be able to see right through this nonsense.

Even arch-conservative South Carolina decided to continue funding its arts commission. Apparently no one cares to follow Brownback's recipe for "success." Is it any wonder that Kansas is written off as retrograde by the rest of the country?

verity 6 years ago

Didn't you get the memo?

The truth no longer matters. The pseudo-christians can decree that anything they want is the truth.

Katara 6 years ago

Brownback's statements are not intended to be factual.

Mike1949 6 years ago

Everyone knows that Brownbeck isn't getting a second term, not if Kansans are smart, and the fact that he got in office in the first place does not leave me sleeping well at night at the incompetence of Kansas. So how many years can he destroy Kansas? I just hope someone is making a list of all the things he is doing to screw up this state so to make it easier to undo the damage. I am confident that Brownbeck won't last a second term, but I just hope all the damage he is doing can be undone!

somebodynew 6 years ago

And I might not argue with that, IF he had done anything about the budget (like he said he would) instead of focusing on his religious based projects and closed (or attempted to) lots of things that actually help people.

Oh, and the other things, don't make the comments about how committed his is to something after denying funding for it (even though his own legislature thought it worthwhile).

I may not be a big supporter of the arts either, but then I don't claim to be AND I am not the dicta.... governor of the State.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

And what about the jobs that will be lost, because the National Endowment of the Arts only give to state agencies? It think it was estimated to be as high as 4000. Think of all the small town museums that will be shut down. Of course Brownback just couldn't be sure of all those people's religious and political beliefs, so it had to happen. If only he could get away with a loyalty oath without it making national news.

Jonathan Fox 6 years ago

I agree, if people want these pieces of art laying around town so bad, I'm sure they can find plenty of wealthy benefactors to support them. Otherwise, it isn't worth the taxpayer dollars spent on it.

Ken Lassman 6 years ago

Most of the larger towns in Kansas already do raise their own funds for the Arts. Even before the Brownback debacle, Salina, for instance, raised more local funding for the arts than the entire Kansas Arts Commission budget. The ones who are hurt through Brownback's ideologically muddled actions are mostly small towns and rural areas who don't have access to the arts EXCEPT through KAC activities. The KAC has funded many an arts project for kids, has funded projects for elderly participants, and on and on. For more real information about the issue, why don't you go check out the Kansas Citizens for the Arts webpage and find out how those tax dollars were REALLY spent?

jayhawk_93 6 years ago

So Brownback saves $689,000 by cutting funding for the arts. OK, times are tough. Gotta do whatcha gottta do. But, now he appoints SIX, count them SIX, art commissioners???!!!! I'd be very curious as to what each of their pay yearly benefits are for this job. Salary and benefits combined among the six, I'd be shocked if that total isn't very close to the original $689,000.

Dan Blomgren 6 years ago

I thought the same thing, SIX! Really we need SIX art commissioners, and at what price per?

Next year I'll apply. Maybe we need SEVEN! Of course before doing so, I'll make a nice contribution to Brownback's coffers.

verity 6 years ago

From the article: "The appointments, plus Brownback’s earlier pick of Linda Weis as chairwoman of the commission, gives the governor’s appointees a majority on the 12-member board."

Apparently we need twelve people to oversee a non-existent entity. Can someone please explain this to me?

Ken Lassman 6 years ago

It's part of the NewSpeak strategy: defund state spending on the arts, set up a shell organization for corporate cronies to throw tax writeoff monies into, play like nothing is changed so you can hopefully convince the National Endowment for the Arts to continue to send federal tax dollars your way. If you keep the Kansas Arts Commission in place, you might have a chance to pull one over on the feds that nothing has changed--get it? Of course you have to get rid of over half of the current commissioners and put your own lackies in there, because there is no support at all in the arts community or the current commissioners for this vision, which guts the community-wide support for the arts and replaces it with the gated community corporate crowd.

verity 6 years ago

Thank you. Now it all makes sense.

So---will we get Velvet Elvis or Ten-Ton Ten Commandments? Oh, no, not Thomas Kincaid! Anything but Thomas Kincaid!

Kookamooka 6 years ago

I agree with Jayhawk. This story is incomplete. Are they volunteers? He's hell bent on destroying this commission.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

He already destroyed it. He's just trying to pretend otherwise.

jafs 6 years ago

There's no funding - why on earth do we need commissioners?

I imagine they'd have to be volunteers, given that the funding has been eliminated.

And, yes, these folks have no apparent experience or interest in the arts.

The whole thing is bizarre.

chootspa 6 years ago

It's still legally an entity, just not funded and not able to draw down matching grants.

We need new commissioners appointed by him, so that if the legislators do ever manage to restore funding, he's got a team of cronies ready to gut it again.

Lawrence_Pilot 6 years ago

“I am committed to the success of arts in our state,” Brownback said

Of course, that's why he de-funded it.

You see, here in RedneckLand, it's like BizarroWorld. Here, "Commitment" to something means removing its funding and changing its board.

verity 6 years ago

The American Family Association is hellbent on destroying the National Endowment for the Arts because they consider it an "indecent influence" on American culture, along with the separation of church and state. Destroying the Kansas Arts Commission is just one piece in the agenda to get rid of any "unchristian" influences in the United States.

"Indecent influences in American culture include: television, the separation of church and state, pornography, 'the homosexual agenda,' premarital sex, legal abortion, the National Endowment for the Arts . . ."

This was never about the money and everybody knows that. It's about control and forcing "Christian" values on the citizens of our great state. But whose Christian values? Brownback's Christian values don't match those of many of the Christians I know.

If Brownback was actually trying to balance the budget, I would have some respect for him, but he has no problem spending useless dollars on his pet projects.

verity 6 years ago

I wonder if we will be seeing "Christian" statues being funded by this new organization. I can see it now---a ten-ton replica of the ten commandment tablets installed beside the fountain in South Park. Then the kiddies can crawl all over it while listening to the concerts. Or maybe a crucifix. With a White Jesus.

Ralph Reed 6 years ago

"With a White Jesus."

With blond hair.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

The Lawrence City Band will have to play only hymns.

Armored_One 6 years ago

And if that does get installed, Krylon sales will skyrocket...

Ralph Reed 6 years ago



Since there's no funding and the State is in dire financial straits, then their travel should be on their own nickle. Their lunch should be also.

weeslicket 6 years ago

"and sometimes get a free lunch"

Bob Burton 6 years ago

Looks like the Arts are doing OK without the state funding.. Wheres the problem?? Stay cool.. Have a great day..

Peter Allen Macfarlane 6 years ago

And you know this how?

Enjoy the balmy weather in SW Kansas.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Ok, I'm curious. What part of SW KS are you from? Hugoton? And how many acres did you say you own? How's those farm subsidies coming?

Richard Renner 6 years ago

As an artist and an arts producer I can say I am NOT doing OK. This is the worst year I have had in a 20 year career. Clients are so unsure about what is going on that no one wants to spend money that they have or don't have. As for event producing, I have had lost our arts commission money and have to ask the general public for donations. So far we have 13% of our $3500 goal and that is after a month of constant begging, cajoling and pleading.

xclusive85 6 years ago

I would say that many people are not doing OK, which might be why you are not doing OK. Most people continue to see their discretionary spending budgets decrease, so they are not spending their money on arts. If you don't mind, was the $3500 goal the money you lost from the arts commission, or were you getting less or more?

Jonathan Fox 6 years ago

Discretionary spending on the arts must be as straped as the rest of us. However much I don't agree with completely cutting arts funding. Maybe keeping 13% of it would be fair. If taxpayers are not willing to donate, why should they be forced to fund it through taxes?

jafs 6 years ago

Let's use that formula for all tax spending.

I pay for a lot through taxes that I don't necessarily agree with.

Give me back all of that money, and I'll gladly send it to arts organizations, social service organizations, and schools.

Jan Rolls 6 years ago

Guess how many are R's and how many are D's

tir 6 years ago

Where are their arts-related qualifications? It doesn't appear that ANY of these new arts commissioners are very likely to know beans about the arts. Brownwhack is just rewarding campaign contributors and cronies with these appointments. If the arts do manage to survive in Kansas it will be in spite of Brownwhack, not because of his so-called "support" or his hand-picked commissioners.

chootspa 6 years ago

They know they like velvet Elvis. How dare you say they don't know anything about the arts?

verity 6 years ago

Oh, sweetie, isn't Elvis---well, a bit---shall we say---you know that thing he does with his hips?

kernal 6 years ago

No, no, chootspa! It's the dogs playing poker!

verity 6 years ago

Rhubarb-mulberry upside down cake---hmmm.

verity 6 years ago

Rhubarb-mulberry is awesome and that crisp/betty things sounds great. It could be to Kansas what apple pie is to America. I'll work on it.

As for Julia, well, I think she liked her wine just a bit too much for the more conservative. On the other hand, we could probably rewrite her history just like we've done with the Founding Fathers. If we can make them into Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians (something that didn't even exist in 1776), it shouldn't be too hard to make Julia into one.

verity 6 years ago

By the way, that link made me nauseous.

Stuart Sweeney 6 years ago

$689,000.00 vetoed, 30,000.00 donated by Sam with donated funds. Way to go King Sam now how about coughing up another $659,000.00.

chootspa 6 years ago

And the federal matching grant he lost us.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Well but see that 30K is being used to pay for lunch at Olive Garden on the days the council meets so they can all schmooze with each other pasta and red wine.

WaxAndWane 6 years ago

Apart from Sandra Hartley, who was the incorporator of the Miami County Arts Coalition, the collective arts experience among the others probably looks like this:

  • Four of them have a Thomas Kincaid painting somewhere in the house.
  • Two of them consider themselves experts in "Precious Moments" figurine collecting.
  • At least one of them has an Anne Geddes calendar in the kitchen which features photos of babies dressed up like vegetables.

I'm just kidding. I don't know these people and am therefore not qualified to make a judgment about their arts background. As far as I know, they may actively contribute to the arts in their areas. It's quite possible that they may be bigger arts supporters than the rest of us. The article doesn't say one way or the other.

chootspa 6 years ago

So according to those two links, the closest any of them come to arts experience is that one use to be a landscaper. Am I reading that wrong?

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

most ignorant governor ever for Kansas.

Matt Schwartz 6 years ago

Ronda Rodman, who has worked in the floral, landscape and animal agriculture industry and is the wife of Kansas Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman haaaaaaaaa!

verity 6 years ago

"floral, landscape"---had a flower garden and planted some bushes

"animal agriculture industry "---grew up on a farm

Hey, I've done that---and I've taken some art and art history courses.

Appoint me! Appoint me!

Oh, I'm not married to the right person.

Never mind.

musicstudent 6 years ago

For those of you that say arts don't need funding, let us look at an example of how that isn't true.

One of the biggest concerts for Kansans every year has become Symphony in the Flint Hills. According to their website, ticket sales only cover 48% of the cost of the event. They require donations and also (at least they did) have funding from the Kansas Arts Commission to get the even off the ground.

If such a successful event requires state funding - can you imagine how creators or music, art and word are doing now that they have none?

Bob Burton 6 years ago

For cait48, What part of SW KS are you from? North Centeral Missouri.. Hugoton? NO.. And how many acres did you say you own? ZERO.. How's those farm subsidies coming? DO NOT GET ANY.. Just live out here.. Stay cool.. Have a great day..

jafs 6 years ago

This may be obvious, but NC Missouri isn't in SW Kansas.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Oh forgive me. Your screen name was just a tad misleading :P

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