Archive for Monday, November 21, 2011

Statehouse Live: Brownback appoints new arts commissioner to replace one who resigned in protest

November 21, 2011


— Gov. Sam Brownback has appointed Connie McLean of Wichita to the Kansas Arts Commission to replace Lawrence resident Grant Glenn, who resigned because of Brownback’s arts funding veto.

Brownback’s veto of the Arts Commission’s $689,000 annual appropriation made Kansas the only state in the nation to ax state funding of the arts. Since the veto, Kansas also was declared ineligible for $1.3 million in matching federal dollars.

Brownback said that state funding of the arts was not a core function of state government.

Despite the veto of funds, the Kansas Arts Commission still exists as a board in state law. Brownback appointed Linda Browning Weis, a Manhattan real estate broker with a background in music and music education, to the commission, and she serves as its chair. She is also president of the Kansas Arts Foundation, a private nonprofit group that was organized to raise private donations for the arts.

When Glenn, an attorney, resigned, he said he had problems concerning the relationship between the Kansas Arts Commission and the private fund-raising organization.

“The public perception is that the KAC has become a puppet for the Kansas Arts Foundation, an organization that has not been transparent with the KAC nor the public about its sources, even though many directors of the foundation are newly appointed commissioners,” Glenn wrote in his resignation letter. The foundation has yet to report how much it has raised.

Some legislators have raised the same concerns. But Weis said the Arts Commission and Arts Foundation are separate and distinct. She said the foundation will provide privately raised funding and the commission will determine what groups get the funding.

Since Brownback’s veto, many local arts organizations statewide have been scrambling for funding and have been cutting back programs. A group called Kansas Citizens for the Arts has called for the Legislature and Brownback to restore funding to the KAC.

McLean, the new Arts Commission member, has served on the board of directors of the Wichita Arts Museum and the State Advisory Council on Aging and the Wichita Board of Realtors Multi-List Committee. Brownback has now appointed eight of the commission’s 12 members.


copyright 6 years, 7 months ago

Last line of the article says it all: "Brownback has now appointed eight of the commission's 12 members."

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

So, the taxpayers save $689,00 but we lose $1.3 million dollars in free money from the federal government. The total of 2 million dollars that would have been injected into the economy would have turned over several times, generating jobs with income tax, purchases with sales taxes, etc. Moreover, we would not be the only state in the country not funding the arts, which makes us look like a bunch of Neanderthals which adversely affects our ability to attract new capital to the State.


Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

Forgot one thing. Individuals, corporations , and private foundations will be hesitant to contribute to the Arts in Kansas given the State's refusal to help fund Arts at the most basic level. As a consequence, this will made fund raising efforts more difficult.

Brownback's decision is so wrong at so many levels. He is a major league dolt!

monkey_c 6 years, 7 months ago

Sycho, I'm getting all twitterpated with you.

Larrytown 6 years, 7 months ago

Speaking of Brownback......

When are the news agencies going to report (starting digging up) on the findings from the audit of the Kansas Bioscience Authority? Mr. Rottschild, if you haven't already done so, you really need to follow-up on this one. Another doozy...

It seems that the audit findings (the release being delayed by the Brownback camp...for obvious reasons) came back with little or no wrongdoing. Nothing like wasting a 1/2 million of Taxpayer's dollars on political posturing/power.

moonflower 6 years, 7 months ago

Welcome to the board, may I call you Ms. Quisling

blindrabbit 6 years, 7 months ago

A visit to Brownback's hometown of Parker will convince you he had no exposure to the Arts, hence his ignorance. Place looks as drab and rundown as any place in the State.

question4u 6 years, 7 months ago

Wow! Are you seriously arguing that people shouldn't resign from organizations that they think have become bogus? You really don't see any ethical problems with that? Amazing.

thebigspoon 6 years, 7 months ago

I hate to agree with you on anything, but I do think he should have stayed and fought. That being said, however, I also believe that would have been a lost battle from the beginning. Why? I what way can Brownback justify haing the same person heading both organizations? Good God, that's like someone being head of the Deomcratic Party and the Republican Party at the same time. In what way can a person retain any sosrt of autonomy of thought or action, or bring any amount of believability to the jobs? This is simply "stacking the deck" to the utmost, and even you, C1, have to admit this is far too much.

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