Archive for Thursday, June 30, 2011

Douglas County Commission approves $20,000 Van Go funding request

June 30, 2011


The going just got a little easier for Van Go Inc. in Lawrence.

After suffering budget cuts caused by controversial layoffs at the Kansas Arts Commission, Van Go sought and secured temporary funding from the Douglas County Commission to the tune of $20,000 at Wednesday afternoon’s County Commission meeting.

The funding, which will help cover the nearly $30,000 in state funds lost, will come from the county’s 2011 budget for economic development.

Van Go, 715 N.J., known for its public arts projects and for employing at-risk teens in Douglas County, said preparing youths for the work force was a top priority.

“We’re not attempting to create artists in the community,” said executive director Lynne Green. “We’re trying to impart job skills. That’s really the key.”

Van Go has done just that since the organization began offering job training for high-needs youths in 1999. Green noted during the meeting that 85 percent of Van Go program graduates have gone on to find employment or enroll in post-secondary education.

County commissioners voted unanimously to approve the $20,000 request, saying the program was deserving of the funding in a particularly difficult year for arts programs in the state.

“Certainly this is a tough year with funds being taken away, and I feel we’re in a good position to be helpful right now,” Commissioner Nancy Thellman said.

Van Go is continuing to seek new sources of funding, according to Green, who said only about 20 percent of the program’s funding came from donations and fundraisers.

“We’re a grassroots organization,” she said. “We’re under no umbrella.”

Commissioner Jim Flory suggested possible future funding for Van Go be included in the regular county budget process.


youngjayhawk 4 years, 5 months ago

County Commision - thank you for stepping up to help Van Go! I am proud to live in Douglas County.

Peter Macfarlane 4 years, 5 months ago

Money for the school district comes from the state and city, not from the county. What a great way to offset the loss of funding from the Arts Commission!

tomatogrower 4 years, 5 months ago

sierraclub, you might instead ask why the state didn't put the money they cut from the arts into the schools. You might also want to educate yourself with what funding is provided by what level of government.
This is going as the conservatives planned. They cut funding and taxes to make themselves look good, then the local government must step in to save programs that have a huge impact on our lives, like keeping at risk kids off the street. The local governments then have to raise taxes, so they are the bad guys, not the carreer politicians that have become leaches on our society.

somebodynew 4 years, 5 months ago

+1 (with the caveat that I don't think the locals can or should save everyone - there will have to be some choices.)

Joe Hyde 4 years, 5 months ago

Thank you, Douglas County commissioners!

Getaroom 4 years, 5 months ago

sierraclub, you have no idea what you are talking about. You are just being negative for the sake of being negative. Van Go is a fabulous organization that has helped hundreds of kids throughout the years. If you want to sling arrows, do so where they count: toward Brownback and his Gestapo for starters. Van Go and the kids of this community are not the problem, but rather part of the solution. What are you?

purplesage 4 years, 5 months ago

Money for the state and the city, the school district and every federal program come out of our pockets.

Tax dollars are tax dollars. Doesnt matter which level of government handles it.

kansasredlegs 4 years, 5 months ago

Most likely this will be the first and only economic development project to receive our tax dollars which will create a job which can actually be accounted for. How's that incubator coming along Commissioners? What was the name of that engineering firm with the low paying professional jobs that moved to Olathe?

The Commissioners are finally targeting our tax dollars on projects it can keep in the county.... GOOD JOB COMMISSIONERS FLORY, GAUGHN & THELMAN... KUDOS!

suggestionbox 4 years, 5 months ago

Excellent use of funds for a program that keeps kids working and out of trouble.

Good news and smart move!

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