Archive for Friday, June 10, 2011

Arts officials concerned over de-funding precedent set by Kansas governor

June 10, 2011


Public arts officials from the Midwest are wondering whether Gov. Sam Brownback’s elimination of taxpayer-supported arts funding in Kansas is a sign of things to come, or an outlier that other states will reject.

“We cannot be caught by surprise,” said Terry Ferguson, chairman of the Mid-America Arts Alliance. “We need to think about the situation that all of our states face.”

Ferguson, of Omaha, Neb., was among 40 Mid-America board members who met Friday at the Eldridge Hotel.

Last month, Brownback, saying he wanted to save money and focus on core functions of government, vetoed the Legislature’s $689,000 funding of the Kansas Arts Commission. He then appointed a new Arts Commission chairwoman who is also the leader of the private fundraising group formed by Brownback that he says will be able to fund the arts in Kansas.

Brownback’s actions make Kansas the only state that has ended public funding of the arts.

Members of the Mid-America Arts Alliance, a nonprofit organization that works with art agencies in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, said the situation in Kansas has left funding of arts up in the air in the Sunflower State.

Art programs crucial

The arts are as crucial as any public service in improving lives, helping people learn about others and connecting with each other, Ferguson said.

But, he said, many people do not see it that way.

“The world we are used to, it may not be the world we have to deal with,” he said. “The situation in Kansas is one in which the governor was determined that public support of the arts was unacceptable and he chose another course. The exact implication of that is unfolding.”

He said it is unknown how the National Endowment for the Arts will work with Kansas and whether it will provide grants to the Kansas Arts Foundation, which is the private fundraising group started by Brownback.

During its meeting, the Mid-American Arts Alliance adopted a resolution that states the alliance will keep working with Kansas to maintain support of the arts.

“We are people of goodwill and will do the best we can to serve the needs of the people,” Ferguson said.

Kansas unique

But others said they didn’t see Brownback’s actions as a precursor of what might happen in their states.

Alliance board member Ed Clifford, of Bentonville, Ark., said Arkansas has increased funding for the arts recently by providing $500,000 in regional grants.

He said Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe supporters the arts. And arts supporters have demonstrated the economic impact of the arts through a recent study that showed “creative industries” in Arkansas ranked third behind only transportation and processed foods, he said.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and legislators there have also expressed support for the arts, said Beverly Strohmeyer, executive director of the Missouri State Council of the Arts.

In Missouri, the arts council is a division of the economic development agency of state government. She said Brownback’s move is going to hurt Kansas more than the governor realizes.

Without an Arts Commission and accepted statewide plan, federal grants will dry up, Strohmeyer said. “They really didn’t look forward enough into the effects of it,” she said.

Hurt private fundraising

Suzanne Wise, executive director of the Nebraska Arts Council, said Brownback’s elimination of state funding of the Kansas Arts Commission hit Nebraska artists hard. “The Nebraska arts community is horrified and saddened,” she said.

Wise said she has worked extensively in raising private funds, and says having government support through an arts commission is crucial to leverage private dollars.

Programs approved by a state arts commission provide the “good housekeeping seal of approval,” for private businesses and philanthropists that receive many requests for funding from varied groups, she said.

As an outsider, Wise said she is mystified why Brownback did what he did. The Nebraska Arts Council, she said, has had its budget reduced along with most state agencies because of the economic downturn. But she said political leaders in Nebraska remain supportive of the council.

New leader optimistic

Brownback’s selection to lead the Arts Commission and the Arts Foundation is Linda Browning Weis of Manhattan. Weis, the broker-owner of a real estate company who has been involved in the arts for a long time, said she was optimistic that a privately funded enterprise will succeed.

Weis attended the alliance meeting and was politely received. “Please keep in mind, this is not about them and us,” Weis said. “This is about the arts. I don’t care which direction we go as long as we get money for Kansas arts.”

Weis said she wants to improve funding for the arts. “I’m a solution seeker,” she said.

When asked about Kansas’ position as the only state to de-fund the arts, she said, “Kansas has always been a leader. We think differently.”


Bill Cushing 5 years, 10 months ago

There are a number of State funded programs that may be real nice for those that enjoy them. I am not sure why I should have to pay for them if they are not my cup of tea. The people who want to have and enjoy can hold bake sales and fund raise like all the rest of the wonderful non state supported projects that all of our communities have.

These people defending these programs want their cake and have the rest of us pay for it.

question4u 5 years, 10 months ago

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. For some, state parks and recreation areas are not their cup of tea. Others think that highway construction in Western Kansas is someone else's cake. Some think that state fish hatcheries are a waste of money. There are advocates for eliminating public schools. Some think that the state patrol should be privatized. Others would like to pay no taxes at all.

Opinions are a lot of fun, because they can be whatever you like, without regard for logic or practicality. Most of all they can be completely self-centered, without a concern at all for a larger society. That's why they so often are.

Jock Navels 5 years, 10 months ago

Re: the comment below by Liberty-One: no, Question4U is not doing or saying anything self-centred, as a matterof fact, Question4U is positing a general statement that should concern us all. Brownback's logic can be applied to any and all state funded programs. There is a reason individuals ban together in organized community endeavors. Many reasons. There will be serious , hopefully unintended, consequences of Brownback's actions in this case. It will result in a net loss for the individual citizen's of Kansas. I weep for our folly.

manfred 5 years, 10 months ago

As with most "less government is always better" parrots, you don't seem to practice what you preach -- your profile states you went to both public high school and KU, which are government-funded institutions. As you say, "reducing the size and scope of the government is a net gain for everyone." Perhaps you've forgotten the extent to which the government has helped you?

manfred 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm sure you think that, but the problem with 'learning on your own' is that there's no system of review or discussion. You read some Ayn Rand book, and suddenly you believe that the only answer to the complicated, nuanced problems of global economics is to decrease the government's size. Unfortunately, since you're not actually learning from an economist, there's no one there to point out the flaws and naivete in your reasoning.

Honestly, I believe that a lot of the government has grown out of control, and should be trimmed back. However, the mindset that government must be scaled back no matter what is incredibly myopic. Even small-government conservatives (those who've been to school) have ideas beyond "shrink the government." You, however, take this to be a blanket solution to anything and everything, which shows that you haven't really thought about these problems (despite all your invaluable "self-education").

Indeed, this idea that "self-education" is all one needs is pretty scary. Ask yourself if you'd allow a doctor who "learned on his own" to operate on you.....

manfred 5 years, 10 months ago

You said, "I learned far more on my own than from KU or LHS at a fraction of the price." This implies that you hold your self-education in much higher esteem than your formal one.

You also say, "Shrink the government isn't my position at all," when nearly all your comments (not just on this thread) involve scaling back the government. You say your position is "ending violence, threats and coercion," yet I fail to see how completely eliminating (for instance) all federal education funds (which is something you've suggested) would end any violence or coercion -- that just seems to me to be less government for the sake of less government.

Finally, you seem to be a big fan of Ron Paul, someone who loved Ayn Rand so much he named his son 'Rand.' So, although you say you've never read any Ayn Rand, clearly some of her thought (which pervades Ron Paul's work) has gotten to you.

If you read my above comments, you'll see I only questioned your views and logic, and never resorted to name-calling, as you did in your above comment. Not knowing you, I have no way of knowing why you're so angry. Just remember that a short temper often gets in the way of a rational discussion.

Jock Navels 5 years, 10 months ago

yes, a democratic government, one created by the people for the people is a voluntary cooperative of the population as a whole. As such, it can decide to do things at public cost for the greater public benefit. Thus, public schools, public fire departments, public police departments, a national military, a NASA, a NOAA, an FDIC, and so forth...none of which are bad entities...each of which is a direct benefit of some and of no benefit to others, directly, but all of which are a net benefit to the population in it's entirety.
What's the alternative...a privatised road system? How would commerce work if the vehicles on I-70 had to stop every quarter or half mile to pay a fare to cross a distinct piece of private land, for example; and deal with a variety of road conditions depending on how much the owner of each piece of land was investing in his own infrastructure. Get it? In a totally privatized world, you wouldn't be able to survive in the ease and comfort you do now, hence..voluntary banding togtether for the better common good...i.e. government.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

Gee, looking there. LO is regaling us with how perfect his imagined world will be.

Golly, I'm sold. When can I sign on to this Utopia? It's so perfect that there really can't be any reason it can't work, right?

And we already have examples of where his mentors put it into practice.

There's Pinochet's Chile, Yeltsin's Russia, Deng's China, and many more. Sure, they had to murder, torture and imprison tens of thousands of people, but paradise ensued in all of those places, so let's get on with similar "corrections' here, and the sooner the better.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

You are correct about the majority in a democracy.

What's your solution to that problem?

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

Since all belief shares much in common, I would say it's extremely likely that my beliefs are similar to religious beliefs.

What's your solution?

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago


And neither do all religious believers - there's a continuum there.

What's your solution?

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago


This is the problem with anti-religious folks who don't know much about religion.

There is a continuum of religions, from those that are more authority-based to those that are much less, if at all based on that.

And, there's also a continuum of believers, from those who tend to think less for themselves to the other end.

And, of course, the issue of whether people think for themselves is not limited to religion - many people don't think for themselves in a variety of ways.

Your views are based on a variety of influences as well - Austrian economics, etc. As are mine.

For the record, I majored in religious studies, and have experienced a number of religions personally, so I'm not "making this up".

Unity - a worldwide religious movement - encourages people to "take what works" and discard the rest.

Unitarianism - also worldwlde - supports individuals on their path, and there is a wide range of beliefs among Unitarians.

Buddhism has a saying "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him" - obviously not encouraging people to blindly follow even his teachings.

Quakers have very few "creedal" beliefs, and are generally focused around quiet contemplation and individual personal experience.


There is even a rather large group of Catholics that don't follow the Pope's teachings on everything.

Jock Navels 5 years, 10 months ago

Re: the comment below by Liberty-One: no, Question4U is not doing or saying anything self-centred, as a matterof fact, Question4U is positing a general statement that should concern us all. Brownback's logic can be applied to any and all state funded programs. There is a reason individuals ban together in organized community endeavors. Many reasons. There will be serious , hopefully unintended, consequences of Brownback's actions in this case. It will result in a net loss for the individual citizen's of Kansas. I weep for our folly.

bluedog 5 years, 10 months ago

Weis attended the alliance meeting and was politely received. “Please keep in mind, this is not about them and us,” Weis said. “This is about the arts. I don’t care which direction we go as long as we get money for Kansas arts.”

Weis said she wants to improve funding for the arts. “I’m a solution seeker,” she said.

If Brownback actually cared about the arts in Kansas and if Weis were truly a "solution seeker" they would have met with the Kansas Arts Commission to make a plan for the future in which private funding could be incorporated similar to Vermont. Not once did Brownback's office return calls to the KAC about working on a solution. Instead, he threw the baby out with the bathwater.

overthemoon 5 years, 10 months ago

That's the crux of the issue. Obviously changes can be made and new avenues explored. But the blatant disregard of any and all options is simply unacceptable and a sign of the sort of 'leader' Brownback is.

sad_lawrencian 5 years, 10 months ago

There's only 7 1/2 years of Brownback's governorship left. Then we will become civilized again.

tomatogrower 5 years, 10 months ago

We are still hurting from Grave's decisions. He gave away our surpluses which could have seen us through these rough times.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 10 months ago

Huh? Graves said that all of the fat was gone and any more cuts would cut into the hard fought legacy of reasonable services that Kansans had built up over the past decades. The legislature agreed and passed a temporary one half cent tax increase, and what did Brownback do? Cut social services, education and put the new tax revenues into building new roads. So exactly how is that Parkinson's fault?

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

about as civilized as Sebelius and her friend George Tiller in the governors mansion having tea...humm liberalism really does have a nasty side to it...

Dan Thalmann 5 years, 10 months ago

According to a story I read about a week or two ago, Arizona is considering defunding arts this year, just like Kansas, but had not yet passed their budget. And Texas was talking about doing it next year. I think they may only pass a budget every two years, but I'm not sure. Texas' art budget was like $6 million or more, making Kansas' move seem pretty small.

Dan Thalmann 5 years, 10 months ago

I found the map/info. Looks like Arizona has approved cutting their funding too, just like Kansas. Check it out:

Arizona_Arts 5 years, 10 months ago

Arizona's arts agency has had its general fund appropriation zeroed out, but it has another state funding stream that pays out $1.2 to $1.7 million annually, which the state arts agency uses as its federal match to remain eligible for NEA funding. And it appears Texas' budget will be reduced, but I don't think eliminating its arts agency was legitimately on the table this year. Eliminating state arts agencies has been on the table in a few other states this year, though it must be said, ALL OF THOSE now appear to be taking reductions, but have fought off elimination once the majority of their state legislators were reminded of the return on investment for the meager dollars they invest in their arts commission, and the fact that by defunding their arts agencies, they leave federal (and sometimes regional private) dollars on the table.

Kansas is the only state to eliminate its arts agency in the 60 or so years these agencies have been in existence, and looks like it will indeed be the outlier and the only, at least for the next year.

deskboy04 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm all for the Arts. I just don't think that the government should pay.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

The government didn't pay for art. The relatively small amount of money the Arts Commission received was used to leverage other money and facilitate other arts organizations in finding funding for their programs.

It was a perfect example of how a small amount of money can be used by government to do a lot of good-- and that's why it was so ideologically important to kill it.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

To be fair, some of the leveraged money came from federal funding, which is also government funding, of course.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

True enough, but even that depends on the argument that any and all government spending is theft of one sort or another. It's a purely ideological argument, and one that is very arbitrarily applied.

And even hardcore libertarians such as LO can't articulate a way that we get from where we are to their capitalist promised land.

Milton Friedman and the Chicago boys did their damnedest to impose it in Chile, and Pinochet was the result. They did much the same in Argentina, Russia and many other places, with extremely ugly results everywhere they went.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm just responding to your comment that the government didn't pay for it, since much was leveraged by the state's funding.

Since that leveraged a lot of federal funds, which are also government spending, that means government is still paying for it, just a different level.

kseagle 5 years, 10 months ago

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

Joe Hyde 5 years, 10 months ago

Hey, here's an idea that fits the times!

This newly minted Kansas Arts Foundation could raise enough private funds to have painted on the inside of the state's capitol dome a replica of Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel works. Except instead of God reaching out to give life and power to Adam, the artist could substitute the face of one of the Koch brothers reaching across cosmic space to empower St. Sam the Pious, while portrayed hovering in the clouds nearby would be hundreds of little Republican cherubs gazing in wide-eyed wonder.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 10 months ago

For real.

Why do repubs want to be like the Kock Bros or even think that they can? Do they not realize that when they cross a certain threshold the Koch will strike them down, as Cain unto Abel?

Sunny Parker 5 years, 10 months ago

Get over it! There are more important things that my tax dollars can pay your food stamps, your health care, and your housing!

JimmyJoeBob 5 years, 10 months ago

And with all the new unemployment claims due to the poor economical times something has to be cut to fund all of these safety nets.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago


Except Brownback also likes to cut social programs as well.

If this were a clear choice between funding those and funding the arts, I'd agree.

manfred 5 years, 10 months ago

Am I to assume that you would decline federal assistance if you were to lose your job?

BigPrune 5 years, 10 months ago

Look at the ugly corrugated metal expensive Arts Center that also got a parking garage. I wonder what a cost/benefit analysis would say those expensive things have brought to the community and how much has Lawrence lost money wise? I think half the garage is occupied with City vehicles.

M_12 5 years, 10 months ago

The Lawrence Arts Center was built by private and city funding--not state funding. The parking garage is also city funded and not owned by the arts center.

BigPrune 5 years, 10 months ago

Have you ever heard of taxes? Obviously not.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 10 months ago

Wow, repub-wannabes are among the more disillusioned I have seen in a while. They actually believe that these cuts are made in their interest.

There is a way to prosperity and blind allegiance is not it.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 10 months ago

BigPrune - Someone should tell all the people at 2 am on a Saturday parking in that big expensive parking garage that was built for the arts center, that the arts center is closed at 2 am on a Saturday and CLEARLY the parking garage was only built for their usage. Don't be an idiot; downtown parking is highly limited - the parking garage was necessary to sustain the downtown economy NOT just the arts center. Just because something is in geographic proximity to something else does not make their relationship directly correlated.

BigPrune 5 years, 10 months ago

They were constructed at the same time AND the Arts Center was built because the Arts people said they had 95,000 visitors per year at the Carnegie Building Arts Center (remember that 'claim' for funding?) I do. Incidentally, that was 22 visitors per hour - I NEVER saw that many people in there at a given time.

M_12 5 years, 10 months ago

Having worked at the Arts Center for many years, I can say that, indeed more than 90,000 to 100,000 people access the programs offered by the Arts Center each year--and have for many,many years. If you never saw 22 people in the old Carnegie Building at one time, you were never in the old Carnegie Building...

Dan Eyler 5 years, 10 months ago

It's those darn Koch brothers again. Scourge of Kansas. How dare they invest the profits reaped on the backs of hard working Kansans. Surely we should demand they completely pull those criminal profit returns from the Kansas economy. Maybe in time those thousands of poor Kansans working for the evil Koch brothers will find employment at a business in down town Lawrence or some government funded agency. Maybe we can double the funding of the arts and hire even more staff. Who knows if we keep spending more and more on government and hire more and more Kansans to take those government jobs we wont even need the likes of the Koch brothers who currently employee thousands of Kansas peasants who slave for the evil Koch brothers. Shame I say, shame.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

I agree. The only arts we deserve are those which the Koch brothers deem acceptable, and are willing to donate money for (in exchange for a tax deduction, too, no doubt.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

OK, I can accept that. But I also think that 29 cents a year is a pretty good deal for the work that the Arts Commission did.

But you'd rather have the Koch brothers tell you what kind of art is really art.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 10 months ago

By the way, both the state Senate and House agrees with bozo. But I guess the will of the people and the legislature aren't as important as your personal opinion.

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago

If you include the federal funds, it comes to a bit more than 29 cents a year, doesn't it?

sciencegeek 5 years, 10 months ago

"The arts" is a red herring . In debating support for the arts, people are missing the true danger we're facing, and that is the remaking of Kansas in the image of extremists.

Look how this was done: unilaterally and against the wishes of the majority of the electorate. A hand-picked few are now in charge. In the same way, the Parole Board was abolished and replaced by a hand-picked few. The same thing has begun for the Kansas Bioscience Authority. Multiple state agencies are quietly being loaded with, again, a hand-picked few. This isn't the usual "knock off the last guy's appointees" that you'd expect. This is an intentional, underhanded takeover by a cabal with a self-serving agenda. What is happening can't be undone, and will last far beyond Brownback's term.

So far, we've gotten job losses and social issues, with promises of returns in "10 to 15 years", as stated yesterday. The scary thing is that no one noticed.

Maybe that's why their most extreme pronouncements are made on Friday afternoons?

oldexbeat 5 years, 10 months ago

Nice. And true. Well stated. Thank you. The appointments all over the state have been either very monied supporters of Brownback or close religious associates. Our Leader -- yup, look that up in German -- is an odd ball believer in special Popes and is told by a foreign government what to believe. He doesn't like art. He doesn't like artist -- except those really pretty paintings over a couch and the nice wine and cheese outdoor music events. I doubt he trust science at all, so the KS Bioscience Authority is in real trouble now. If I were the federal government I would send tax dollars to other states. Not Kansas.

Darrell Lea 5 years, 10 months ago

Here's a well written piece on the subject from another media outlet:

I personally feel that Brownback's intent is not merely defunding the arts, but rather to create a mechanism where he and his appointees control the funding, thereby controlling the content. This was a purely ideological maneuver on his part, with purely ideological goals.

verity 5 years, 10 months ago

Exactly. This is ideology pure and simple---wanting to control the arts along with every other aspect of our lives.

I would disagree with the Pitch article which seems to think this is only about running for the presidency. This is ultimately about control and turning our country into a theocracy.

Also agree completely with ScienceGeek's comment above at 10:43.

Sam Brownback will never be president of the United States, but he is well on his way to destroying Kansas.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 10 months ago

Well-spoken, V erity. I agree completely. You have hit the nail firmly on the head.

George_Braziller 5 years, 10 months ago

The answer is "no." The Kansas Arts Foundation isn't even eligible for NEA funds. Non-profit organizations have to be working in conjunction with a state agency and have to have been in existence for at least three years. It only took me about two minutes to find the answer on the NEA website.

"He said it is unknown how the National Endowment for the Arts will work with Kansas and whether it will provide grants to the Kansas Arts Foundation, which is the private fundraising group started by Brownback."

Jan Rolls 5 years, 10 months ago

Since ms. weis and sam are sure about private funding maybe she can tell us how much she and sam and all of sam's new appointees have donated so far.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 10 months ago

I think that by now it has been established that Brownback is a jurassic throwback elected by the addled voters of Kansas who accepted his fairy dust solutions advocated by the Republican Terrorist Party. This is what you get with the Limbaugh-Palin-style logic and reasoning. Far too many voters are snockered by this line of thinking and do not know nor do they care to, about the real intentions of these right wing nuts. The unvarnished embracing of fraudulant religious dogma contributes a lot to this, there are so many people who hear "God" and automatically remove the ossibliity that this might be the wolf in sheeps clothing that Jesus spoke of. This governer is about the worst thing that could have happened in Kansas. This guy was a senator for years and no one can claim that they did not know what sort of bill of goods they were buying with Brownback.

OldSoldier 5 years, 10 months ago

Investing state dollars into the local community arts is an investment in the future. It returns more than can be quantified by dollars and cents. If Brownback wants to change to the "core functions of government" (please define), why is he allowing the divorced absentee father of two daughters to spend state dollars on MARRIAGE ACTIVITIES and FAITH BASED INCENTIVES inside the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services?

skinny 5 years, 10 months ago

Tax dollars should not be spent on stuff like this period! I work hard for my money and I sure as heck am not giving it away!!

George_Braziller 5 years, 10 months ago

Even if you are making minimum wage you would only have to work 2 1/2 MINUTES in an entire YEAR. That's how much of your taxes went to the Kansas Arts Commission.

Costs more to feed a parking meter for an hour.

camper 5 years, 10 months ago

"He said Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe supporters the arts. And arts supporters have demonstrated the economic impact of the arts through a recent study that showed “creative industries” in Arkansas ranked third behind only transportation and processed foods, he said."

Cutting the arts program (about 689k) will save individual taxpayers a couple cents per year up front. But Art programs have a payback larger than than the initial investment thru commerce and visitation. Investment in Arts revitalizes comunities and brings in revenue. Studies prove that the increased taxable revenue far exceeds the cost of investment.

What I'm trying to say is that funding of the Arts is a worthwile investment and should not be viewed as lead in the budget. It is such a miniscule amount as well. And we all know that Art has a long life. It is a reflection of who we are at given points and is can be appreciated for many generations going forward.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 10 months ago

Go ahead and fund it! Don't force me and others to pay for it!

M_12 5 years, 10 months ago

If I don't own a car, why do I have to pay for roads? Oh, yeah--for the benefits to my community that roads provide. The arts were okay when Brownback voted for No Child Left Behind--the arts is one of that programs Core Initiatives.

coloradoan 5 years, 10 months ago

Along with M_12's comments. I don't have kids, so why do I have to pay for public schools? Geesh, ya think I might benefit from having well-educated kids working at the hospital or nursing home I have to rely upon? Maybe these kids will seve in our armed forces or in the police or fire crews? There are too many people with short-sighted, and narrow-minded views of the world./ Grow up.

gkerr 5 years, 10 months ago


I pay for public schools though my children and with few exceptions grand children don't use them. I hope you are willing to pay for the Parochial schools and home schooling programs my children attend, as My family pays for the public schools your family may attend.
Fair enough?

I've been working for tax relief as tuition tax credits for over 30 years. Private education, including home schooling works and works well. Many folks who are appalled at the reduction in public funds for Art programs, some of which are good and true and beautiful and uplifting, some a sordid scold and celebration of the demise of beauty and meaning in modern life (not it's lament), are the very folks who have sabotaged and stonewalled a more just allocation of education funds from the public treasury on the flimsiest of excuses, in part do I think to prejudice against anything religious or traditional, and in part as an act of solidarity with the teachers and Administrators guilds and unions which thrive on the largess of politicians they help elect. It's not nice to gloat over others angst and disappointment, but somehow a little schadenfreude is understandable. Gkerr

jafs 5 years, 10 months ago


Public schools, by definition, exist for all to use, if they so choose.

Private schools, in contrast, do not.

That's why we pay for public schools through taxes, and not for private ones.

Kyle Chandler 5 years, 10 months ago

Whats the matter with Kansas?

just read the above comments from sunny, big prune and liberty one. Ignorance at its finest. showcased here on LJW!

I actually know a woman that USED to work for the Arts Commission doing secretarial type things, she's now out of a job and will have to get on unemployment or maybe even welfare of a sort. She's a single mom to boot.

One way or another, YOU WILL PAY! don't think you got out of it. and actually, YOU ARE GOING TO PAY MORE NOW! Hope you enjoy that.

verity 5 years, 10 months ago

You bring up a point that I have thought about, but no one ever seems to mention. Many of those people losing their jobs because of cuts will be going on unemployment or welfare, so we will be paying them to do nothing instead of doing something. Probably not as much as they were making, but won't this have a negative effect on the economy?

It's not like they are probably going to be able to find another job at the same rate of pay any time soon or ever.

Centerville 5 years, 10 months ago

"Arts Officials" - now there is a creepy concept.

George Lippencott 5 years, 10 months ago

Go get them gov!! Make those liberals squeal. We can not pay to fund education as we would all like but we should pay TO FUND local art talent and exclusive liberal elite gatherings. The liberal argument that art is for the masses is not borne out in how we spend money appropriated for the arts. What hypocrisy!

bolshavik_vw 5 years, 10 months ago

Hopefully we can get him voted out in the next election.

pace 5 years, 10 months ago

Since the arts Commission brought in more money than the support cost, created jobs and enriched the life and skills of Kansas. Brownback is mean and small. Those are not good qualities in a person in power.

George Lippencott 5 years, 10 months ago

Pace, you have data to back that up?? Contributions do not count nt as they can be made anyway

pace 5 years, 10 months ago

Brownback is supplying us data everyday. He might as well as beat the residents of KNI, kicking them out of home and putting them into community job programs will not result in their employment, just destroying the community organization ability to serve present clients. Brownback is giving us data every day that he is mean and small minded.

George Lippencott 5 years, 10 months ago

Pace said: Since the arts Commission brought in more money than the support cost, created jobs and enriched the life and skills of Kansas

I believe the issue was the arts.

beatrice 5 years, 10 months ago

The arts are a form of education. Brownback is in favor of cutting education.

Personally, I want my doctor to have the eye / hand coordination that comes from taking an art class, something learned by looking closely. Likewise, I want my lawyer to be able to think in the abstract, to see a larger picture as it were, rather than just see words written on a page. I want my politician to have pondered struggle, heartache, joy, hardship, and other human experiences by looking at the art, listening to the music, watching a play or reading a poem created by people of the past in countries he or she have never visited. I want them to be able to recognize the shared aspects of the human experience. I want there to be repositories of mankind's artistic achievements, and I want these museums to be open and available to our children and our children's children, and not just to the wealthy or the politicians and their families in Washington.

The arts used to be part of our everyday lives for a reason. Now, it is all concrete, factories, corporate restaurants, and television giving us manufactured entertainment with "stars" dancing. Sad.

Never trust people who want less art in their lives. They are supporting the crushing of the human mind and spirit.

George Lippencott 5 years, 10 months ago

How do we know there will be less art of consequence? There is still an art museum at the university here. There is still an art center downtown.

I am sorry but my take is that the arts HAVE become an exclusive activity of the liberal elites paid for by many who have less income.

I can make your argument for just about any human activity contributing to education. Let's fund the flowers in our yard. They are art by our definition.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

We need the arts to be supported privately and thus held accountable privately. Once again this in someway becomes an issue of government supporting "art" that the community would most likely not support. We need to leave some of these matters to the private economy and save ourselves some tax dollars.

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