Archive for Friday, March 30, 2012

Arts advocates confident in proposal to start new state agency

March 30, 2012


— 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.


WilburNether 6 years, 1 month 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.

overthemoon 6 years, 1 month ago

But darlin', we do it for you, too! Your lack of appreciation is noted but I think we have to say, AGAIN, that the public support of arts has a history dating back to Egypt and beyond. And we would be a lot poorer as a species without the greatness of human achievement we enjoy and celebrate. If you'd rather keep your head in a box, fine. But we're looking at the long view. Its not 'recreation' for a few.

WilburNether 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh, listen to the little piggies who feed at the public trough squeal! Squeal, little piggies, squeal! And demand more of other people's money to pay for your recreation and entertainment! Yes, that's the ticket!

appleaday 6 years, 1 month 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.

asixbury 6 years, 1 month 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?

overthemoon 6 years, 1 month ago

Well said. Artist, designer, inventor, innovator. All of the same ilk and we would be so much poorer without that important part of human endeavor. Those who see it as 'entertainment' or 'hobbies' are missing a great part of being alive.

jafs 6 years, 1 month 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?

overthemoon 6 years, 1 month ago

There wasn't a point. That's the problem. No thought, no point. Just a blind belief that 'small government' means no civilization, no collective support for the greater good, no social contract. Just a bunch of 'individuals' sitting on couches, shootin' their guns and counting their pennies. MMmm. Gotta love those 'freedoms'.

asixbury 6 years, 1 month ago

Love how you illustrated your point. +1

kochmoney 6 years, 1 month ago

That little kids shouldn't have ballet lessons? That communities shouldn't have theater?

Jonathan Becker 6 years, 1 month 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.

George_Braziller 6 years, 1 month ago

And someone who can read simple English. Brownback claimed that cutting state funds wouldn't affect the federal funding. It only takes about 30 seconds on the NEA website to find the eligibility requirements. Very clearly stated in the first bullet.

"Financial Support, Matching Funds, and Financial Reporting"

The state arts agency must:

Be financially supported by its State government.

kochmoney 6 years, 1 month ago

The Kochs certainly did flood the private arts endowment with 2 million dollars immediately after it was founded, didn't they? Yes, thank you Kochs for keeping the arts funding at exactly the same level it was before their hand picked governor took over.

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