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Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2011

Artists, legislators gather to discuss strategies to restore public arts funding

Arts supporters talk about moving forward despite the recent elimination of state funding for the Kansas Arts Commission.

June 16, 2011

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Jessica Johnson, left, and Margaret Weisbrod Morris sign in to a Kansas Citizens for the Arts meeting at the Lawrence Arts Center Thursday, June 16, 2011. Local residents and others from around the state voiced their disappointment with Gov. Sam Brownback's line-item veto of funding for the Kansas Arts Commission. Meeting attendees also discussed ways for reestablishing support for the arts in Kansas communities.

Jessica Johnson, left, and Margaret Weisbrod Morris sign in to a Kansas Citizens for the Arts meeting at the Lawrence Arts Center Thursday, June 16, 2011. Local residents and others from around the state voiced their disappointment with Gov. Sam Brownback's line-item veto of funding for the Kansas Arts Commission. Meeting attendees also discussed ways for reestablishing support for the arts in Kansas communities.

Ellen Neufeld of Inman, left, a Kansas Arts Commissioner, and Michael Kaye of Topeka listen during a breakout session during a meeting of Kansas Citizens for the Arts Thursday, June 16, 2011, at the Lawrence Arts Center. Attendants discussed ways to reestablish the importance of art in Kansas communities despite funding cuts for the Kansas Arts Commission.

Ellen Neufeld of Inman, left, a Kansas Arts Commissioner, and Michael Kaye of Topeka listen during a breakout session during a meeting of Kansas Citizens for the Arts Thursday, June 16, 2011, at the Lawrence Arts Center. Attendants discussed ways to reestablish the importance of art in Kansas communities despite funding cuts for the Kansas Arts Commission.

Proponents for public funding of the arts in Kansas gathered in Lawrence Thursday to discuss ways to react to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s unprecedented veto of funding for the Kansas Arts Commission.

Henry Schwaller IV, a former arts commission chairman from Hays, encouraged those present to host gatherings at their homes with friends to encourage them to support public funding for the arts.

He said the arts benefited communities both culturally and economically.

Richard Renner, a Lawrence artist, said that when the news first broke, it was hard not to take it personally, and he became angry and felt like a victim. More recently, however, he said he was looking for ways to empower himself to affect change.

“Victimhood is a nice place, but I don’t want to buy property there,” he said.

Several current and former members of the arts commission attended the meeting, along with Sen. Marci Francisco and Rep. Paul Davis, both Lawrence Democrats, and Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Republican from Mission Hills.

Brownback vetoed the Legislature’s $689,000 funding of the Kansas Arts Commission last month, saying he wanted to save money and focus on core functions of government.

He also appointed a new Arts Commission chairwoman who is the leader of the private fundraising group formed by Brownback that he says will be able to fund the arts in Kansas.

Attendees of the meeting on Thursday noted that Kansas had attracted national attention for being the first state in the country to take such a move. Arts advocates have also said that the cut in funding also means that Kansas could be at risk of losing $1.2 million in federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

More than 50 people attended the meeting, which was organized by the advocacy group Kansas Citizens for the Arts. Organizers said they planned to host similar events to brainstorm strategies and organize support across the state, with the goal of restoring public funding.

“It may not happen in the next legislative session,” said Ann Evans, co-chairwoman of Kansas Citizens for the Arts. “We may need to have another election.”

Sarah Carkhuff Fizell, one of the event’s organizers, said Kansas Citizens for the Arts was exploring the potential for forming a political action committee that would financially support political candidates that supported the arts in Kansas.

Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg attended the meeting Thursday, and read a poem to the crowd.

She was affected by the governor’s decision, having previously received a $2,500 stipend, a $2,000 travel budget and staff support from the arts commission.

“I’m living in limbo, but I’m still writing poetry,” she said.

Comments

rockchalk1977 2 years, 10 months ago

Controversial 'Jesus Ants' Art Goes Marching Again on Bicoastal Tour.

A controversial exhibit that was quickly pulled from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery last year is back on tour. The seven-minute crucifix clip -- “Fire in My Belly”-- by David Wojnarowicz (flake de jour), depicts a picture of ants crawling over a crucified Jesus. It was removed from the National Portrait Gallery less than 24 hours after members of Congress and the public objected.

This is the reason why there should be no public funding of art in Kansas or any other state.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/17/jesus-ants-art-goes-marching-again/

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Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 10 months ago

Earlier this month, Brownback graced the Symphony in the Flint Hills with his presence.

That is an event that never would have gotten off the ground without public funding, yet now six years later it is incredibly successful and the public support is dwarfed by the support from the private sector.

That is why public support for the arts is important. And that is also why "all or nothing" conservatives will never understand, because they just can't comprehend how an event can go from being primarily publicly funded to being primarily privately funded.

And they obviously hate the Symphony in the Flint Hills.

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Doug Harvey 2 years, 10 months ago

Doing creative work is what people naturally do. Another word for this is ART. Some art is valuable in forms other than monetary. There are things that are important that are NOT monetary, that are, in fact, more important than monetary. Quality of life, being self-content, sharing oneself with others on a fairly deep level -- these are the kinds of things that make people happy and keep them from hurting other people. There's no price tag on that. Creating wealth happens in many ways.

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gkerr 2 years, 10 months ago

Andy Hyland and LJ World, Just how many articles, blogs, letters to the editor, readers letters, are you Folks going to print about this topic? Like Pravda, if the first 2 dozen harangues don't cause a stir then keep hammering away till the readers give up their desire to live free and become the mind numbed robots that you wish them to be. According to Suffolk University poll few trust Mainstream News sources because of leftward bias. This affirms poll results of many decades by other pollsters according to Paul Bedard of US News Report.

"In a stunning rejection of network news and nightly news anchors, cable news, driven by the Fox News Channel and mouthy Bill O'Reilly, is now the top most trusted source—by a mile."

See what your bias and blather have done? Bloviator and self serving populist agitator O'Riley is Trusted more than MSM sources, a sure sign that your incessant bias has already driven public mad. "In a new poll from Boston's Suffolk University, more than a quarter of the nation says Fox is tops when it comes to who they trust the most and O'Reilly is the most believable.... The key finding in the telephone poll of 1,070 likely voters is that network news is dying. Some 28 percent say that they trust Fox News the most, followed by CNN at 18 percent. After that, the trust in TV news nose dives. NBC was third, at 10 percent, MSNBC fourth at 7 percent, CBS and ABC tied at fifth with just 6 percent." Again, FOX News – 28% CNN – 18% Undecided -12% NBC – 10% Other -10% MSNBC — 7% ABC — 6% CBS — 6% C-SPAN — 3%

Why not just choose to be objective? Why not give balance to your coverage mix? Why not run some articles on why folks support the cuts? Why not be honest? Quit driving people nuts. Gkerr.

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junco_partner 2 years, 10 months ago

You have to speak in a language that they understand if you want to get your point across. With that in mind I wrote a haiku for you.

pleae go get a job do not be a lazy slob liberal tax sponge

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somedude20 2 years, 10 months ago

Old fatcat Brownback could have let a few of his giant staff (who as we have read in previous articles have rather bloated salaries) go and bam, there is the $689,000 (what a small amount of the budget) or he could use $689,000 out of the 2012 $50 million surplus.

Point is that the arts are being cut out of school now (especially music) and now it is cut from the public domain, we are going to have generations of children grow up without being exposed to the arts and that is a sad thought (unless you are a robot)!

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Keith Richards 2 years, 10 months ago

Of our 14.1 trillion dollar deficit, China owns roughly 1.1 trillion dollars or 8%. To say they "own" our debt is not realistic.

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distant_voice 2 years, 10 months ago

Hey, let's separate funding for the Arts from funding for the Arts Commission, which seems to have a dubious track record supporting Arts in the state. Just because you oppose the Arts Commission does not, in any way, mean you oppose the Arts. Liberals LOVE to generalize.

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Kontum1972 2 years, 10 months ago

so what lucky republican is painting Gov. Brownbacks portrait?

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jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

These comparisons are funny.

People who are in favor of education and social service funding are generally also in favor of arts funding, and those opposed to arts funding generally oppose the others as well.

Our current governor cut all of them.

I don't see somebody offering to fully fund education and social services instead of the arts.

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skinny 2 years, 10 months ago

I am with bd on this one! Get a clue people! Look at all the homeless and you guys are worried about the ARTS! WOW!

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bd 2 years, 10 months ago

Get a clue people! We have children that live below the poverty level, schools being closed, people who have run out of unemployment , and you want us to fund the "ARTS"

Sorry, but there are more important issues to deal with!!!!!!

Tea anyone!

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BigPrune 2 years, 10 months ago

Instead of sitting on their rear ends having a think tank about getting public funding re-established, why aren't these artists having a telethon, or making some phone calls to their rich friends?

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rtwngr 2 years, 10 months ago

Roses are red, violets are purple, sugar is sweet, and so is maple surple. :-)

God bless fiscal conservatism!

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 10 months ago

"Canela's" = "Cabela's". Need more coffee....

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Quigly 2 years, 10 months ago

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

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 10 months ago

You are forgetting that attribution thing again, merrill. Do you get a penny every time you repeat that twit's lie about Canela's? Doing that is dumb and irresponsible !!!!

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

My goodness gracious. Arts funding pays back the community. Art helps keep our children grounded. A great bang for the tax buck.

Meanwhile:

What's wrong with socialism is the right places? Nothing really. Socialism is alive and well hidden in the word of big business.

For example:

"David Cay Johnston then boggled the crowd with a blunt assertion: "We pay billions of dollars in taxes that never get to the government." Much of the sales tax we pay at big box stores and shopping centers is diverted to the large companies that own the stores. It's just one of the many swindles these chains have learned to perpetrate against city and county governments. (Alive and well in Lawrence,Ks as we speak.)

This is so effective that the Cabela family, which owns a chain of big-box sporting goods stores, receives 137% of its profits from taxpayer subsidies. If they couldn't work this scam, they wouldn't be in business at all."

Socialism is trendy in the world of corporate america it seems.

David Cay Johnston is not some " tree hugging liberal". This man is a registered republican. More along the lines of those repubs who would support art programs such as Eisenhower and Nancy Kassebaum = from the days of the true fiscal conservative republican much like my father in law who bolted and is now active in the democratic party.

Art helps keep our children grounded. A great bang for the tax buck. No doubt Art likely keep adults grounded as well. It's good to have our tax dollars come back to the community in this fashion.

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nut_case 2 years, 10 months ago

Keep an eye on Greece - We will be there in a few years. It's already starting here...our government is 14+ Trillion in the hole, and going deeper. Try go cut back on a few non-essential things and look at the uproar it causes.

On the local level, notice how the streets / highways are going to crap, school cuts/closings, talk of cutting other services? These are the first 'warning shots' ... deeper cuts to come unless things turn around. But will they? China is emerging as an economic power - and holding trillions in US debit, while the US continues to spend, spend, spend with no real though of cuts. Doesn't exactly seem like anything is turning around to me.

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writeon 2 years, 10 months ago

Alert, everybody! Brownback, with his veto-proof Republicant congress, is building a resume of "look what I did in Kansas" in preparation for his next presidential bid. If he can demolish the Kansas Arts Commission, which received fairly paltry state support in the first place, just think what he'll do to NEH, NEA, PBS, and more if he becomes president.

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Barry Watts 2 years, 10 months ago

Not to be rude, but why did she receive a $2,500 stipend and travel expenses with tax-payer dollars? I guess I am unaware of how these Kansas state dollars are spent on the arts.

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blindrabbit 2 years, 10 months ago

Kansas attracts more negative press; seems like we've become kinda the Rodney Dangerfield of the States. De-funding of the Art's Commission is just part of the "Dumbing Down" trend that seems to be a "darling" aspect of the ^T-drinkers" agenda and the current Brownback Administration.

The way the rest of the country views Kansas; I've lived on both and worked Coast's and have defended Kansas proudly, but !!!!!!!

Land of Dorothy! Basketball U.! Home of Goat Gland Doctor! Emelia Earhart (no need to defend) "You're not in Kansas anymore" Flatness! Little public Access to land! Limited natural beauty (not my opinion, but that of the public)! Crazy State School Board decisions! Phred Phelps, et al.! Home of the other KKK, that is Kansas' Kris Kobach! Fly over state! Cabela's ----States' biggest tourist attraction! Territory that during the prior Statehood that gave up what was to become Denver, Boulder, Pueblo, Colorado Springs" because that land was not tillable, just mountainous wasteland. No natural lakes (except Lakeview)! Home of Kobach, Klein, Tiahrt, Abrams, Phelps, Roeder, BTK, Smilin Sam, "In Cold Blood"! Killed Knute Rockne! Spawning ground of tonadoes!

Plenty more, but I'll let it rest!

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situveux1 2 years, 10 months ago

Funny they seem to have the energy to raise money to persuade public funding but didn't raise a finger to actually raise money for the "arts."

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