Archive for Thursday, January 24, 2013

Questions abound as new arts group starts work

January 24, 2013, 1:35 p.m. Updated January 24, 2013, 7:34 p.m.


— Gov. Sam Brownback's administration tried to launch a new statewide arts initiative on Thursday, but questions arose immediately about how to proceed, including whether the director works for the arts commissioners or vice versa.

"Today is a new day," said Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary Pat George. "Let's take up the work ahead of us and move forward in a positive way," he added.

But several members of the newly formed Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission asked how much authority the panel had.

Henry Schwaller of Hays asked if the commission was "window dressing."

And Linda Browning Weis of Manhattan asked the commission's director, Peter Jasso, "Do we work for you or do you work for us?"

The questions centered on how much input the commission will have on the strategic plan for arts in Kansas, which will be used to try to draw federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jasso indicated he would be working with the commission to put together a strategic plan.

In 2011, Brownback stunned the arts community by vetoing funding for the Kansas Arts Commission and making Kansas the only state in the nation without a publicly funded arts agency. The move meant the loss of about $1.2 million in arts money from the NEA and Mid-America Arts Alliance.

But last year, Brownback proposed creating a Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and placing it under the Kansas Department of Commerce. The Legislature allocated $700,000 to the new group.

Brownback has proposed cutting that funding to $200,000 for the year that starts July 1, and $200,000 for the year after that.


Steve Bunch 5 years, 4 months ago

Ding ding ding! "Window dressing" is the correct answer!

buffalo63 5 years, 4 months ago

Don't understand Brownbaches thinking. Didn't he (when in Washington) want to cut funding to NEA, NPR, and all those "non-use" "left-wing" "Liberal" groups? Now setting up something to get NEA money?

Steve Bunch 5 years, 4 months ago

I suspect if he gets the money we'll be seeing some interesting art projects in Brownbackistan.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Brownback's motto--"If it doesn't need fixing, break it."

patkindle 5 years, 4 months ago

no problem , all of us that support the arts just need to open the old check book and donate what we feel is enough to show our desire to keep art flowing

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Do you get matching grants from the feds? Or are you volunteering to match everyone else's donations to make up for the loss?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

It's window dressing. Give Brownback credit...... he is a master of deception.

"Artists are liberals" = you have no idea what you are talking about.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

“The arts mean business” According to Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $135.2 billion of economic activity, which breaks down to $61.1 billion in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations, plus an additional $74.1 billion in event related spending.

In addition to generating economic activity, the arts and culture industry also supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.

Arts & Economic Prosperity IV also showed that arts audience members spent on average $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission in 2010. Additionally, the data revealed that arts tourists stay longer and spend more than the average traveler.

Even in the face of the recession, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV revealed that the arts have remained resilient. The 2010 expenditures by arts organizations were just three percent behind their 2005 levels ($61.1 billion vs. $63.1 billion).

“As all budgets—local and national, public and private—continue to reel from the effects of the economic downturn, some may perceive the arts as an unaffordable luxury reserved for only the most prosperous times,” says Jonathan Spector, President & CEO of The Conference Board.

“Fortunately, this rigorous report offers evidence that the nonprofit arts industry provides not just cultural benefits to our communities, but also makes significant positive economic contributions to the nation’s financial well being regardless of the overall state of the economy. This certainly is something to applaud.”

By focusing on the quantitative economic impact of the arts, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV elucidates the connection between the arts and the economy and validates the arts as a resilient industry with cultural and economic benefits.

This study compels nonprofits, businesses, and government officials to consider the arts and culture industry as a job creator and an economic stimulator. Arts & Economic Prosperity IV can be an extremely useful tool in attracting arts advocates and developing stronger, more meaningful partnerships across sectors.

For more information on Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, including information on downloading and purchasing all study reports, please visit

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 4 months ago

According to the internets, Peter Jasso makes about $60,000, plus benefits. Assuming he has at least one assistant, that's probably $30,000 plus benefits.

Plus they have office supplies, rent, etc. to pay for.

Brownback has budgetd $200,000. That's probably enough to pay the staff and the rent. Is this a two-jobs program? Pathetic.

Brendon Allen 5 years, 4 months ago

Off topic but each time I see this picture of the nice new capital digs along with cuts and deficit it just makes me a bit ill... priorities! If they met at the motel 8 or hooters just as much would get done (or not done).

oldexbeat 5 years, 4 months ago

Arts normally show the beauty and the sad realities. Art can be anti-brownbackistan since art often confronts what free speech is about and has been often the target of rightwing nuts such as Brownback. Remember the sad crying portrait of Sammy, the one that was taken down to not upset the governor. (He is truly such a sensitive man, I would guess -- I mean all that money for third graders being held back for reading problems -- wait, that money came from 3-4 year olds. Nevermind.)

So art is a threat to the mean and the callous and the Koch suckers of Kansas. Obviously, since it was the first to go, costing the state millions in the end. It was not about the budget, I'm saying.

George_Braziller 5 years, 4 months ago

The Kansas Arts Foundation had an entire year to come up with a strategic plan and didn't. Now there is the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission to come up with a strategic plan. In reality it'll be two more years before they're even eligible for NEA funding.

Even after a strategic plan is created the State has to adopt it, have it in effect, and show progress is being made on the goals and with the implementation. For the last part NEA requires a minimum of one year.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.