Archive for Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lawrence arts commissioner resigns over Brownback’s funding veto

September 22, 2011


— A Lawrence resident has resigned from the Kansas Arts Commission because of Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of its state funding.

Grant Glenn said that when the KAC was funded that it made an important difference in the lives of many Kansans.

“With the lack of state funding, the commission has become something else. It is starting over with neither staff nor funds to complete its once noble mission,” Glenn said in a resignation letter dated Wednesday.

Brownback vetoed the agency’s $689,000 annual appropriation, saying that state funding of the arts was not a core function of state government. He had predicted the state would continue to receive $1.2 million in matching funds, but the National Endowment for the Arts determined the state was ineligible for federal funding.

Brownback appointed Linda Browning Weis, who works in Manhattan real estate, to run the new private fundraising group and the KAC. Weis has said she is confident that private fundraising will increase funding to the arts.

But Glenn said he had problems with the private fundraising 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. The foundation has yet to report how much it has raised.

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.


rockchalk1977 5 years, 11 months ago

"Gov. Brownback donates unspent inauguration funds to Kansas Arts Foundation, other nonprofits". Put your money where your mouth is art lovers.

WilburM 5 years, 11 months ago

The Lawrence Art Center, VanGo Mobile Arts, the Spencer Museum of Art, the Lawrence Civic Theater, Friends of the KU Theater, a host of music groups-- in just the past few years have raised $15 Million or so. BB donates excess funds, none of which come out of his pocket, after cutting funding that resulted in $2M overall losses to arts.

Lawrence is a very generous community for the arts, but having a modest amount of governmental support (which can be leveraged) is great, both financially and symbolically -- and for public relations for the state, which now is widely known for discouraging the arts.

The arts will survive, but a little governmental assistance can help them prosper.

Godot 5 years, 11 months ago

"leveraging" government funding is the cause of our current economic malaise.

kansasredlegs 5 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps with this one resignation, the KAC can get out its color wheel and add some other pigments to the palette of its Commissioners. Dang, never saw such a group more in need of a tanning bed than that group. Apparently, "Diversity" is not a color scheme in this State whether a Dumocrat or Repub'kin is governor. Based on those pics, I would say that KAC has already implemented what Mayor Cromwell wants for Lawrence when it comes to "gender identity" protections.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

Good for him for Mr. Glenn for resigning. I appreciate his candor on the facts. yes, Brownback was wrong, I do not feel l should be calling Brownback stupid, it is more likely he was spin lying.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like Mr. Glenn's cash cow died. Instead of doing what he can to support his passion, he bolted. Sounds like he was the right guy for the job.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 11 months ago

Don't forget--Brownback's ideology driven decision blinded him to the fact that the ones he really hurt in his boneheaded decision was the small town and rural areas in Kansas. I get so tired of folks saying that folks should pay for the art themselves if they like it. The truth of the matter is that the rural/small towns provide much of the wealth of the area cities in the form of agricultural commodities, gas, oil and cheap, skilled labor and in exchange, the cities subsidize the roads, gas lines, electrical lines, etc. to the rural areas who would never be able to afford to acquire them any other way. The REA electrified the countryside, the rails brought folks out here in the first place; same with the roads. Art is no different: the small library/school system/town event would never be able to afford the programs that the Kansas Arts Commission subsidized. It makes small town/rural living that much more appealing and liveable and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Absolutely nothing.

pace 5 years, 11 months ago

You denigrate people who attend meetings or work for their passions. You seem like a guy with several favorite bars.

Kontum1972 5 years, 10 months ago

the Horror......the Horror.....!

mb the governor will cut off charlie sheens money flow...LoL

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