Topeka 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.