To the editor:
The future of public support for the arts in Kansas is in jeopardy — again. Action is needed now.
In order for Kansas to receive funding in FY 2014 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) from the National Endowment for the Arts and Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Department of Commerce must submit a partnership application to the NEA by Oct. 1. If they do not, Kansas will not be eligible for this funding until FY 2015 at the earliest. We must demand that Secretary of Commerce Pat George submit this application by Oct. 1.
There is a second problem. Although the Legislature appropriated $700,000, there has been no plan given or public accounting for how these funds have been or will be used. We must demand an accounting for these funds and ensure that a large portion is going to nonprofit arts programs around the state. If these newly appropriated funds are not used for arts programs, the governor and others may cite this inaction as cause to move the funds to another agency and kill the possibility of renewing public support for the arts in the foreseeable future.
If you care about the arts in Kansas, please urge Secretary George to follow through on the state’s commitment to public funding.