Archive for Thursday, October 27, 2011

NEA delivers bad news to Kansas Arts Commission

October 27, 2011, 9:01 a.m. Updated October 28, 2011, 12:35 a.m.

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— Kansas has been told again by the National Endowment for the Arts that it’s not eligible for federal funds, prompting the state Arts Commission’s chairwoman to declare that the group will move forward with a “truly Kansas” plan for supporting arts programs with private money.

An NEA official told Gov. Sam Brownback’s office in a letter this week that the Kansas Arts Commission remains ineligible for funds because it hasn’t demonstrated that it’s supported financially by the state. The letter, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, says private contributions would not fulfill the requirement for state support.

Brownback vetoed the commission’s entire budget in May, making Kansas the only state in the nation to eliminate its arts funding. Brownback, a Republican who took office in January, has said the arts still can flourish with private dollars and the state must focus on “core” functions such as education, social services and public safety.

The governor’s veto prompted the NEA and the Mid-America Arts Alliance, a private group based in Kansas City, Mo., to cut off funds as well. The Arts Commission lost nearly $2 million — the $689,000 legislators set aside and $1.3 million from the NEA and the alliance. But Brownback’s actions didn’t eliminate the law creating the commission, and he’s since replaced seven of its 12 members.

The NEA also had said Kansas still could submit a new plan for promoting the arts that could qualify the state for federal funds next year. The commission was preparing to do just that to meet an Oct. 31 deadline.

But in a letter dated Tuesday, Karen Elias, the NEA’s general counsel, told Caleb Stegall, the governor’s chief counsel, that if Kansas uses private donations to finance the Arts Commission, the state still “does nothing” to financially support it.

“The arrangement contradicts the notion of a federal/state partnership, and does not meet the eligibility requirement of being ‘financially supported by the state,’” Elias wrote, quoting NEA requirements posted on its website.

Meeting this week

The Arts Commission met Wednesday, with members initially disagreeing on whether they should submit a plan to the NEA anyway, according to Kansas Public Radio, which first reported the developments. Commission members ultimately decided against it.

Commission member Sandra Hartley, a recent Brownback appointee, told Kansas Public Radio that she’s upset the NEA waited so long to tell the state.

“You could have told me this in August, and I would have been out raising money instead of doing all the things that the NEA required,” said Hartley, a Paola attorney who’s also secretary of a local arts coalition.

On Thursday, in response to questions, the NEA issued a statement saying that Kansas still could file an application by the deadline but adding, “All of the application requirements for state partnership are publicly available.”

The federal agency’s website also says that to be eligible for funds, state arts agencies must have “a designated budget” and “designated staff with relevant experience.”

Fundraising plans

Chairwoman Linda Browning Weis, another Brownback appointee, said the commission will revive a plan to issue “support the arts” license plates to raise funds.

“Commissioners remain united and focused on how to expand and support the arts in Kansas by maintaining and creating relationships with other arts agencies and developing an innovative funding plan,” Weis, a Manhattan real estate broker with a background in music and music education, said in a statement.

Brownback had proposed eliminating the commission and reduce the state’s funding for the arts to a $200,000 subsidy for a private, nonprofit Kansas Arts Foundation. The group formed in February, with Weis as its chairwoman, a position she still holds.

But legislators rejected Brownback’s plan and set aside tax dollars to fund the commission in the current state budget. The governor vetoed not only the money but the commission’s authority to retain its small staff, leaving commissioners to handle day-to-day administrative tasks.

Comments

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

Another heckuva job he's done for this state.

chocolateplease 3 years, 7 months ago

There are millions of dollars that the government spends on unworthy subsidies (corn), corporate tax breaks, etc., that should be cut before eliminating arts funding. The arts help our children (look up the research) so that they are inspired and disciplined in ways that give back to society over their lifetimes. The tiny fraction of spending that funding the arts represents is well worth the investment.

Casey_Jones 3 years, 7 months ago

Subsidy spending should be cut as well. Worth the investment is certainly an arguable point but you can't "invest" money you don't have. Do people think our national debt is just going to disappear once it reaches some magical number?

chocolateplease 3 years, 7 months ago

Well, not that it always works out, but actually you can invest money you don't have. People do it all the time via borrowing. Sometimes it's worthwhile., other times not. I just happen to think that for the small amount that arts funding represents, it's worth it.

woodscolt 3 years, 7 months ago

As usual, looking at the world through asphalt colored glasses. Some people hold our society to a higher standard. The 4th worlders will always be trying to tugg America to the bottom with them. Now they got Sam duping them and they love it.

woodscolt 3 years, 7 months ago

As I stated. those who think Brownbacks reckless abuse has anything to do with fiscal responsibility have simply been duped by brownback. Its pure ideology and has nothing to with fiscal responsibility. Follow the brownback trail, fiscal responsibility is only a sales pitch and it worked for you, not me.

Casey_Jones 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm not a Brownback fan but calling fiscal responsibility a "sales pitch" when our national debt is over $14.8 trillion is absurd.

woodscolt 3 years, 7 months ago

"Its pure ideology and has nothing to with fiscal responsibility." Your the one who has been duped by the brownback "sales pitch". You made up the part about fiscal responsibility being a sales pitch, I didn't say that at all. The Brownbacks of this country consistently attribute anything they want to do to the national debt. It is just not plausible. It is absurd to impose any ideological reckless policy you want so long as you attribute it to fiscal responsibility. Follow the brownbrick road and see for your self that takes you.

"Oh, fiscal responsibility, Oh, why sure, Just do anything you want, I'll buy". it says casey

Casey_Jones 3 years, 7 months ago

If we don't cut spending in a MAJOR way our economy will collapse. The way we've been doing things simply isn't sustainable.

I'm not a fan of Brownback and I don't agree with his methodology for doling out cuts, but the bottom line is if we don't completely reevaluate our spending habits, sooner or later there won't be any funding left to argue over. At least he's cutting SOMETHING, whether it ought to be the first thing to go or not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

Actually, the economy is more likely to collapse if the government decreases spending than if it increases spending. That said, what the government chooses to spend on does effect the overall effectiveness in meeting the needs of the great majority of the country's population. Not that hard-core capitalists are really concerned about what happens to the bottom 90% of this country's people.

chocolateplease 3 years, 7 months ago

I agree that spending cuts are required, but that's only part of the equation. The other is increased revenues. If that means raising taxes and closing loopholes, so be it. And the "at least he's cutting something" argument doesn't earn Brownback any points if he's unwilling to consider other, more sensible choices. Eliminating arts funding for Kansans will cost our state. What arts organization or arts-related business would ever want to locate in Kansas? What artistic entrepreneur would ever want to stay or come here?

Hal Larsen 3 years, 7 months ago

I couldn't agree more with rockchalk. The military budget will be first on the chopping block. Since our military spending surpasses what the rest of the world's military spending in total, that's a great place to start.

Casey_Jones 3 years, 7 months ago

And what would trigger World War III if we're not going out picking all these fights? Oh that's right, terrorists hate us because of our "freedom"...

Getaroom 3 years, 7 months ago

How about adding to the list of cuts and more importantly, trumped-up unfunded wars and over the top Pentagon funding? How about bringing jobs back to the USA? How about refunding Social Security that was robbed to pay for war making? Who's common sense are you supporting? Like which version of Rev Gov Brownbackwards Bible do you support and "believe in the most"?

Fossick 3 years, 7 months ago

"The NEA should be on the chopping block in 2013 when common sense returns to Washington DC."

If it returns - the GOP had from 2000 to 2006 to eliminate such frivolous funding and they merely piled it on. Color me a little skeptical that they have truly seen the light.

Casey_Jones 3 years, 7 months ago

Ron Paul 2012. $1 trillion in cuts in the first year and a balanced budget in three. On an individual basis, a balanced budget is absolutely crucial to sustainably lead a comfortable (read: non-homeless) lifestyle for everybody. This is common knowledge. Why does our government seem to think it won't eventually run out of money? Then what happens?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

"This is common knowledge. "

No, this is pure ideology.

"Why does our government seem to think it won't eventually run out of money?"

The government can print as much money as it likes. That's not to say that that is without effect, but it's just absurd to say that we'll ever run out of money, a pure abstraction.

bradh 3 years, 7 months ago

You might want to look at Germany prior to WW II and many 3rd world countries over the years. A government can print as much money as it wants, but then you get hyper inflation which is one of the worst things that can happen to a country.

As for the arts, I don't know that I've ever seen where our tax money goes for the arts, other than the sculptures atop the KC Convention Center. Taxpayer money going to the arts seems like a scam to me, Let artists do like the rest of us and make something people want and are willing to pay for, rather than getting a dole for putting out garbage.

Getaroom 3 years, 7 months ago

Like RickPerryTale, Ron Paul lives in an ideological fantasy of an unregulated/self regulated "free market" enterprise placed on some un-reacheable pillar that defies human nature. Watch out Casey, your canon ball express is running out of control - again! Ron Paul is no Hero - he is delusional.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 7 months ago

Our country needs to support the Arts and the vast majority of Americans agree with the idea of encouraging this.

The ONLY reason people like Brownback would kill Arts funding is purely for ideological reasons. This is repulsive to most Americans.

That is another reason to be upset. The American people are practical. They are not handcuffed by narrow ideological and theological theories of government.

The reason our country became so deeply in debt is because of greed by Republicans and Democrats who are either in the pocket of big corporations or unions.

It is embarassing that Brownback would cut out arts funding for less than $700K in a program that was well managed and good for the state simply to make a point about his ideological beliefs.

The big question of the day is whether the American people can clean house and get a fresh start in the next election by eliminating the political garbage that has gridlocked our country's politics the way zebra mussels are ruining our lakes.

guesswho 3 years, 7 months ago

Art is a part of public education. People need art to enhance creativity which will produce better solutions and tools to business and industry. Steve Jobs was inspired with a calligraphy course he took.

Liberty275 3 years, 7 months ago

So we have calligraphy to blame for slow and overpriced computers?

Jobs would have spent his life selling used cars were it not for Woz and Bill Gates.

Liberty275 3 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, I guess the first ones were called "Apples".

I was a bit late, I never used them until I hit grad school and got stuck using Performas and OS6 or something. So I just thought "mac". Thanks for the correction.

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

I'll also add that Jobs didn't do it alone, he often piggybacked on things others were doing or outright stole ideas, and he was a bit of a sociopath, but his contributions lead to the wide adoption of the desktop GUI, mice as a common input device, desktop publishing, and many more innovations. I won't say we'd be using DOS on a mouse-less box right now if it weren't for him, but we'd have been doing that for a few years longer for sure.

If you got stuck with Performas and OS6 and haven't been back, you did get stuck with slow computers. You also got stuck with a computer that came out while Steve Jobs was not working at Apple. The iMac was his first baby after he returned.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

It's interesting that you don't hear much about his abusive personality.

Apparently that sort of thing is ok with folks as long as he makes a lot of money.

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

I suspect there are a lot of abusive personalities and sociopaths at the top of the food chain.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 7 months ago

Enough of the dumb s#!+....Let's get this party started! Occupy The Capitol; Occupy Cedar Crest! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGvp879-Wtg

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 7 months ago

Brownback is simply another bought-off psychopath/politician...tar and feathers should do the trick. Let's roll! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XI1DD...

Catalano 3 years, 7 months ago

Just part of Sam's plan to take down the seven mountains:

In 1975, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade, and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission, had lunch together in Colorado. God simultaneously gave each of these change agents a message to give to the other. During that same time frame Francis Schaeffer was given a similar message. That message was that if we are to impact any nation for Jesus Christ, then we would have to affect the seven spheres, or mountains of society that are the pillars of any society. These seven mountains are business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion.

Find more here: http://www.reclaim7mountains.com/ or just google New Apostolic Reformation

Getaroom 3 years, 7 months ago

Like I have been saying for months now, this is his "mission", to supplant the rule of government with Biblical Law. You got it! And Voters in Kansas think that this is a good thing and in their best interest? How is it possible that so many could be deceived by this devil in disguise? Must be Halloween all year round in Kansas.

evilpenguin 3 years, 7 months ago

"Brownback, a Republican who took office in January, has said the arts still can flourish with private dollars and the state must focus on "core" functions such as education, social services and public safety."

Yes, the state SHOULD focus on "core" functions such as education, social services and public safety. Ah well Sam, 0 out of 3 isn't bad.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Yes.

These statements are absurd in the fact of his cutting budgets in education and social services.

kansasredlegs 3 years, 7 months ago

The Arts are alive and well here in good 'ole Larrytown and in most Kansas communities. Each and every fall, I see all those aspiring students out there vying to be the next Christo, you know, out there wrapping trees and cars with T.P. all over town during homecoming festivites.

Liberty275 3 years, 7 months ago

It's time to occupy the NEA until they give us some money!

Fossick 3 years, 7 months ago

Oh noes!!!11!!! Teh money$ are getting away!!!

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 7 months ago

Chairwoman Linda Browning Weis, another Brownback appointee, said the commission will revive a plan to issue "support the arts" license plates to raise funds.

This administration is opposed to taxpayer funded arts, except for its support for taxpayer funded arts like begging for NEA money or creating license plates.

verity 3 years, 7 months ago

What generally seems to be ignored in these food fights about the economy is that government spending does not just fall into a hole and disappear. The money is plowed back into the economy, and in so doing, the economy is stimulated.

This does not negate the fact that there is a lot of waste that needs to be cut out, but we need to be careful that the cuts we are making are in fact helping and not hurting the economy. For instance, cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will very likely cause more emergency room visits and diseases not being diagnosed until the treatment is much more expensive---or it's too late.

Just one of many examples.

ignatius_j_reilly 3 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for this comment. I wish more people thought like you.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 7 months ago

Emergency room visits are more expensive, too.

WaxAndWane 3 years, 7 months ago

Shame on the NEA. It's time for Kansas art lovers to step up to the plate and give our local artists some support since the state and feds have chosen not to. For my future art purchases, I will seek the work of Kansas artists before anyone else. Let's take a moment to talk about federal dollars now. Since fed money is tight, I think NASA should be scrapped. That would save over $18 billion per year. Also, the government needs stop giving money to companies like Solyndra ($535 million taxpayer dollars now gone) and Fiskar Motors ($529 million dollars to a company whose cars are made in Finland).

cowboy 3 years, 7 months ago

"You could have told me this in August, and I would have been out raising money instead of doing all the things that the NEA required," said Hartley, a Paola attorney who's also secretary of a local arts coalition.

What did you think would happen you inexperienced petulant idiot.

tomatogrower 3 years, 7 months ago

You should have heard her say this on KPR. Talk about harpie.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 7 months ago

The Kansas Arts Foundation was supposedly raising private moneys all this time, so Harley´s comment belies the fact that this philosophy of funding the arts privately is really just a smokescreen for shutting down the arts.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 7 months ago

Shows just how much the federal arts commission cares for the states. You would think they would fund despite what the state does. Guess they are only interested in their own survival.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

"You would think they would fund despite what the state does.'

But what if it chooses to do nothing, as Sam did?

tomatogrower 3 years, 7 months ago

Why should they, since the state doesn't care about the state. Brownback only cares about getting a VP nomination, so he can lose the presidency for the Republicans, just like Palin did.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 7 months ago

It still amazes me that those who always have their hand out do not understand that there is only so much money. Our children are walking to school, while we pay to bus the vagrents and transients all over town, not to mention house them, feed them, health them, mental them, dentist them, etc, build new libraries, bicycle paths, bus barns and the like, but still you people wonder why there is no money for the arts.

The truth is Brownback, and many of the Democrats do care. They care about those who need services, not just those who are human leeches on the system. Artists are able bodied and can work. If they take a chance, hang out their shingle and make an attempt at a living and fail, how is that any different than someone opening a storefront on Mass and failing? Is the State responsible to see that those who choose not to work a traditional job are kept from failing?

Continue down the path you are choosing, and there will be nothing for anyone, including your aging parents and meth head kids.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 7 months ago

Why should federal money go to a private enterprise. Accountability is questionable then.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 7 months ago

I fully agree. Let things stand on their own merit.

Ceee 3 years, 7 months ago

Governor Brownback's priorities are not mine. That, on its face, is OK. People disagree. The problem is that Governor Brownback is imposing his opinions on the state unilaterally. He is not acting as a public servant; he is behaving as a despot. Closing SRS offices and taxing residents twice to get service is certainly not a concept supported by the people of the state, Developing tax policy behind closed doors is not in the public interest. Throwing away federal funds for arts and insurance development aligns with his philosophy. What indication is there that Kansans would be so short sighted?

Sam is living his prejudices and is making our lives worse for it. It's past time for the legislature to provide some check to his extremism.

Don Whiteley 3 years, 7 months ago

Yep, I 100% support firing more teachers, closing more schools, increasing college tuition, and removing more services for the poor and disabled so we can transfer those funds to the Arts Commission!

When are people going to realize that our governments MUST operate under balanced budgets. If we had a Democractic governor interested in keeping a balanced budgeted (highly unlikely you could find one), we would have other programs being cut that would make the other side just as angry. We may not agree with what the Governor is cutting, but until we find Repulicans who will support raising taxes and Democrats who will support living within a balanced budget, I rather admire the Governor for balancing the Kansas budget better than nearly any other state in our country.

If you want the Kansas Arts Commission, then put your money where your mouthes are!

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

You do realize that the Arts Commission was barely a blip compared to those other funding priorities, was already budgeted for, and could be fully funded without cutting back the current spending (we took in more revenue than anticipated), right? Arts funding also creates jobs, so there would be more money to spend on all those other priorities as the local economy further improved. Oh wait, no you don't realize any of that, and my pointing it out does no good, because you'd rather comfort yourself with ideology unsupported by evidence. My bad.

Ceee 3 years, 7 months ago

You're setting up false choices when you say we either hurt education or fund arts. Why not get rid of the consultants from Florida who screwed up royally with the SRS office closings or eliminate the lawyers who are being paid to decimate Planned Parenthood?! The legislature wanted to fund the arts. Like ALL governors (Democratic and Republican), the legislature has to live within a balanced budget too. They represent the will of the people on this issue. Brownback doesn't.

vuduchyld 3 years, 7 months ago

There's no use pretending The demographics are trending But I've lived here a long time and my family's here, too For the record, there's no trusting Their faith-based programs and union busting I live in a red state and that's why I'm so blue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcK3KR...

vuduchyld 3 years, 7 months ago

My state once fought for abolition Now we've got no Arts Commission I live in a red state, and that's why I'm so blue!

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 7 months ago

I wasn't astonished that she could make such a silly comment. Rather, I was astonished that she would make such a comment. It made her look like an idiot. Can't do two things at once. Can't read instructions.

But then I realized that, as an attorney, maybe she thought she could argue her case with the NEA like she'd argue in a court of law. Unfortunately she apparently didn't realize that grant funders have one overriding principal in common: If you don't meet their qualifications, they don't fund you. Period.

George_Braziller 3 years, 7 months ago

The basic NEA grant eligibility requirements for states are also very clearly stated, specific, and easy to understand. They are listed point by point on their website and so clear that a high school freshman could read and understand them.

hurlingchunks 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm concerned that more jobs were lost by eliminating this part of the states budget. It appears more of a carte blanche decision by Governor Brownback to eliminate these programs from the state. What other programs provide matching funds from the Feds? "the total elimination of the KAC does not substantially solve Kansas’s budget deficit but rather removes $1.2 million in federal money from Kansas’ economy—money that will now go to other states." Robert Lynch, President & CEO of Americans for the Arts http://www.performingartsconvention.org/advocacy/id=425

rmushrush 3 years, 7 months ago

It's amazing how much damage Brownback's done considering he's only been in office for 10 months.

Do we REALLY have to sit for 3 (or 7) more years of this guy?!?!

headdoctor 3 years, 7 months ago

Sure we have to wait another 5 years, rockchalk1977. Have you taken a serious look at what is running for office. We have crazy, crazy , crazy, crazy, racist-women hating crazy, racist crazy, and just plain bat guano crazy running for office against Obama.

Anything else you don't understand that needs cleared up?

headdoctor 3 years, 7 months ago

Maybe you should look into Herman Cain a little more. In case you haven't noticed, not being white doesn't exempt a person from being racist. In the mean time I conclude that except for Cain you agree with all the other candidates being crazy in one form or another.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 7 months ago

Is your argument "I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like"??? Cuz that's what it sounds like.

Not only that...but you are either deliberately trying to mislead us...or you were deliberately misled yourself (or very, very careless).

How so? This art exhibit and the $300,000 figure you cited were from an article written in 1994!!! So you're complaining about something that happened 17 years ago!! (Check it out...search Jeff Jacoby Insufferable Art...and you will find that you are directly quoting from his article published on July 7, 1994!!!)

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 7 months ago

If the best you can do is plagiarize something that was written 17 years ago about a single art exhibit that had occurred the year before (so now we're up to 18 years ago), then you certainly aren't making your case.

woodscolt 3 years, 7 months ago

You do, however, support the body fluids and body parts scattered all over the world by our military, which is the biggest contributor to the $15 trillion debt you think is gong to be cured by cutting art funding. You are your worst enemy. You contradict yourself and don't even now it.

woodscolt 3 years, 7 months ago

Oh, I get your point. Anything that helps people should be cut and anything that kills people is justifiable spending. Your a real special one aren't you.

jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Also, of course, we could find numerous examples of waste and unnecessary spending in our military budget.

And, the amounts involved would be much greater, I think.

TopekaBlade 3 years, 7 months ago

"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."

John Adams, 1780.

tanaumaga 3 years, 7 months ago

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

Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

"Commission member Sandra Hartley, a recent Brownback appointee, told Kansas Public Radio that she’s upset the NEA waited so long to tell the state."

Another perfect example how RINO's know little to nothing about tax dollar issues. Shouldn't this appointee and the Governor have known of the contingencies?

Brownback spent 20 years on a tax dollar payroll in the Beltway yet was not aware that the Kansas Arts Commission would NOT be ineligible for federal funds because it hasn’t demonstrated that it’s supported financially by the state.

Isn't it odd to have a governor and admin members to be so ignorant of tax dollar codes yet SAY NO to bringing federal tax dollars back home to be spent in the Kansas economic system?

Kansas republicans do you not pay attention to what you are doing when you become involved in an election process? Why do you elect dummies who in turn appoint dummies?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 months ago

Or put another way...

Brownback spent 20 years on a tax dollar payroll in the Beltway yet was not aware that the Kansas Arts Commission would be ineligible for federal funds because it hasn’t demonstrated that it’s supported financially by the state.

Brownback has been a waste of tax dollars yet continues....

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