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Archive for Friday, March 30, 2012

Arts advocates confident in proposal to start new state agency

March 30, 2012

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— Arts advocates Friday said they were optimistic the Kansas Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback were on track to provide funding for a new state arts agency.

"This is really significant," Sarah Fizell, spokeswoman for Kansas Citizens for the Arts, said.

Last year, Brownback vetoed $689,000 in funding for the Kansas Arts Commission, saying that public tax dollars shouldn’t go to the arts. The veto made Kansas the first state to stop state funding of the arts. Kansas also lost $1.3 million in federal and regional matching funds.

Facing a public outcry over his veto, at the start of the 2012 legislative session, Brownback proposed merging the un-funded Kansas Arts Commission and the Kansas Film Commission into a new entity called the Creative Industries Commission and placing that under the Kansas Department of Commerce.

In addition, Brownback proposed providing $200,000 from the Economic Development Initiatives Fund, which is derived from gaming revenues.

A House-Senate budget conference committee has increased that amount by $500,000 from the EDIF, bringing the total to $700,000. A separate bill would establish the Creative Industries Commission.

"We think he (Brownback) is on board. He is the one who decided to start the conversation," Fizell said, referring to his proposal at the start of the 2012 legislative session.

Fizell said the funding and administrative resources of the Commerce Department would help put Kansas back in place for federal and regional matching funds next year. She said several other states have a similar funding and structural model as the one proposed in Kansas.

"It's really great for Kansas," Fizell said. "It's really great for rural communities."

After Brownback's veto, arts supporters said rural communities would be the ones to suffer most because they relied more than larger cities on a statewide arts program to help them get grants.

Comments

FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

The "Liberaltines" need to thank the Kochs for this.

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mikekt 2 years ago

There are all sorts of ways in which the State of Kansas subsidizes things, of all sorts. One of the most invisible ways is thru obscure tax cuts, special bonds paid off by sales taxes, that subsidize special private business interests & individuals. My guess is that the 700K that the state is going to spend on the arts, is peanuts compared to what they give away, yearly, to other sectors of the economy ( & individuals ), in order to make jobs..... and then turn around and do their right wing pontificating, as if the arts employes no one, nowhere, in Kansas. Right! The STAR Bonds that were used to build the Speedway Area in Wyandotte Co., use sales tax revenues to pay off those construction costs. Don't tell me that all of the shops & venues there, including the track, don't entertain lots of people, which employs lots of people, even if it all appears to be pointless entertainment, to some? They have their shops, fun things, etc. ( still not a cheep place to go to ) but subsidized by sales tax ( handover ) funding of the construction costs of the place. Sweet deal! Does anyone believe that the speedway area was acquired & built for 700K?... LOL!!! It was a sweet deal for some because neither the State nor Wyandotte County is on the hook if the place goes belly up ( only the private bond holders loose ) & they built their things! In a perfect world,... there would be?.........and nobody would need?....... or get State Sponsorship!.... for whatever. Have fun finding that one!

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Slowponder 2 years ago

Somebody needs to get the temporary tenant at Cedar Crest a calculator. When you cut $700,000 in state expenses, but at the same time reduce the income side by $1.3M in federal matching money , you have a $600,000 overall net loss. Putting $92,000 (or $200,000) back on state expense side, will not produce a corresponding $1.3M federal match.

But then, perhaps this Governor and his bad arithmetic is altogether appropriate for the knuckleheads who voted for him.

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jafs 2 years ago

So he vetoed about $700K, and now we'll have that funding again, but with a lot of trouble and stress in between.

What was the point again?

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asixbury 2 years ago

Wilbur, it is not only about recreation and entertainment. Creative thinking strengthens parts of the brain in a way that no other activity can match. Studies have shown that arts education (which includes visual, performing, and musical arts) significantly increases test results in the sciences and math. It brings more community involvement, increases economic opportunities, increases revenues for the cities, and makes the areas more pleasant to live in both aesthetically and emotionally. It enriches the city's culture.

Do you like the design of certain cars? You obviously enjoy the internet, judging by the fact you commented on this website. How about the clothes you wear? The house you live in, your desk at work; the list goes on forever. All these items I mentioned were created by an artist of some sort. These artists have all benefited during their early development years from a state-funded arts program. The schools benefit from the state-funded arts programs. At-risk kids benefit from after-school arts programs. Have you ever heard of art therapy?

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appleaday 2 years ago

And I would like to vote for not squandering taxpayer dollars to pay for the recreation and entertainment of the camping types or the high school sporty types or, let's see, just about anything I don't participate in.

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WilburNether 2 years ago

There is no justification whatsoever for squandering TAXPAYER dollars, whether from Kansans or federal and regional grants, which are also TAXPAYER dollars, to pay for the recreation and entertainment of the artsy types. Let them pay for their own recreation and entertainment.

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