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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

Richard Heckler 2 years, 5 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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Richard Heckler 2 years, 5 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?

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tanaumaga 2 years, 5 months ago

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

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TopekaBlade 2 years, 5 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.

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demonfury 2 years, 5 months ago

I love to visualize the throbbing veins in the temples of the liberal elite. This kills me that so many people just don't understand that living within your means, sometimes means that you have to live without some things. On the state and national level, you can see that Obama spends like he's got the treasury on rapid print mode, and Brownback is actually shutting off the spigot. This should come as no surprise to you, but most liberals want and want because they feel entitled to it regardless of how to pay for it. Conservatives see things a little differently. Here's the long and short of it. We do not need the arts programs, we may want them, but we do not need them. When state income is down, then non-vital programs go down with it. It's called fiscally responsibility. Conservatives usually have it and liberals usually don't care about it. So all the whining in the world won't help until some financial things change. There, that wasn't so hard to understand, was it?

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edjayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Herman Cain with that awesome 9-9-9 plan. Now has taken out one of the 9's because he shifts the tax burden to the poor, low-income, and middle class.

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 5 months ago

vertigo (Jesse Crittenden) replies… "Contradict yourself much? You claim you want fiscal responsibility but a few minutes later you take the stance that military budgets cannot be cut."

Not really. Let's not forget In 1862, Congress enacted the nation's first income tax law in order to support the Civil War effort. This was a forerunner of our modern income tax. Military funding has always been a top priority, then and now.

And then there's the question of NEA funding for important "art" like this. Last year there was an exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York entitled Abject Art: Repulsion and Desire.'' Among other delights, it offered a video of a young man spitting blood, a photo of amputated genitalia perched atop two skulls, framed samples of an infant's diaper stains, a giant splash of fake vomit, and Mapplethorpe and Serrano portraits. Visitors were made to wear badges proclaiming:I can't imagine ever wanting to be white.'' The Whitney is subsidized by the NEA. Grants in recent years total well over $300,000.

Our tax dollars hard at work Jesse?

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headdoctor 2 years, 5 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?

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rmushrush 2 years, 5 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?!?!

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hurlingchunks 2 years, 5 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

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2 years, 5 months ago

From the article: "“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.”"


Seems like Hartley either never learned to delegate or work on two things at one time. She's a political appointee in a made-up job (thanks Gov) with a salary. As such she's exempt and should be out stumping for donations when she's not doing everything the NEA required; you know, things like understanding the requirements, completing requests correctly, and so on.

The requirements are on the NEA website and in their published documentation. The primary requirement is state support for the arts. The Gov made sure that wouldn't happen. The NEA isn't giving money to Kansas because the State doesn't meet the most basic requirement. (No, it's not having a viable state government, though we wouldn't pass there either, it's having State support for the arts.)

Now you see Hartley also learning at the feet of The Gov. Screw things up and the point the finger of blame at somebody else.

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vuduchyld 2 years, 5 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=OcK3KR140OA

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distant_voice 2 years, 5 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!

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Ceee 2 years, 5 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.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 5 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.

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Ken Lassman 2 years, 5 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.

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cowboy 2 years, 5 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.

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WaxAndWane 2 years, 5 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).

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verity 2 years, 5 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.

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Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 5 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.

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Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

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

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kansasredlegs 2 years, 5 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.

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evilpenguin 2 years, 5 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.

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Catalano 2 years, 5 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

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Crazy_Larry 2 years, 5 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

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guesswho 2 years, 5 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.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 5 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.

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Fossick 2 years, 5 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.

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 5 months ago

The NEA should be on the chopping block in 2013 when common sense returns to Washington DC. The "arts" should only be funded through private donations. It's simply not a priority with a $15 trillion national debt.

http://usdebtclock.org/

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chootspa 2 years, 5 months ago

Another heckuva job he's done for this state.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 5 months ago

What a surprise. This is what Mullah Sam wanted. Now we can live with it.

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