To the editor:
I am one of those performing artists who was sponsored by the Kansas Arts Commission until Gov. Brownback eliminated funding. This “money-saving” decision cost Kansas artists $1.3 million in grants (i.e., jobs) from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mid-America Arts Alliance.
Last week, I received a letter from the Mid-America Arts Alliance explaining that, since Kansas is now the only state in the union without an arts council, it could no longer accept applications for sponsorship from Kansas artists and existing agreements would be void as of this July. In other words, Kansas artists need not apply.
Gov. Brownback assured us that his decision would not seriously damage support for the arts because private donors would step forward. So, Governor, show us the money. I suspect the reason he refuses to even say how much has been raised is that the amount is so paltry compared to the $1.3 million (jobs!) lost that he knows he’ll look ridiculous. Better to hunker down and avoid answering the question.
Man up, Governor. It is reality check time.