Archive for Tuesday, July 9, 2013

State is back in the business of funding the arts

July 9, 2013


— The state of Kansas is back in the arts.

More than two years after Gov. Sam Brownback made Kansas the first state to stop funding the arts, a reconstructed arts commission awarded $58,000 to eight organizations across the state, it was announced Tuesday.

Henry Schwaller, a critic of Brownback's decision to veto arts funding in 2011, said it has been a tough climb back.

"We lost millions of dollars in the process, but at least we are starting back from scratch," Schwaller, of Hays, said.

In 2011, Brownback declared the state shouldn't be funding the arts and abolished the Kansas Arts Commisison and vetoed its funding.

The action cost Kansas $1.3 million per year in federal and regional matching dollars. Schwaller said the lack of funding hurt mostly small towns that were more dependent on assistance from the state for arts programs.

Last year, after a public outcry, Brownback and the Legislature established the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and placed it under the Commerce Department, a Cabinet-level agency under Brownback. The Legislature approved a $700,000 budget for the current fiscal year.

The budget Brownback just signed into law, however, cuts the funding to $200,000 for the current and next fiscal years.

The new grants were awarded by the KCAIC and announced by the Brownback administration.

“The eight grant recipients demonstrated the value of supporting their projects,” Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George said. “Through these grants, the KCAIC is supporting the growth of the creative arts and the Kansas economy.”

The grant recipients are:

• Arkansas City Area Arts Council; $10,000 to provide space for two businesses that will be used for arts classes and exhibits.

• Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plain; $10,000 to renovate an 1879 depot.

• The Culture House in Olathe; $10,000 to develop a theater space.

• Hutchinson Theatre Guild; $10,000 for renovation of a theater.

• Chamber Music at the Barn, Maize; $5,000 for new sound equipment.

• Kansas Alliance for the Arts in Education; $5,000, to integrate arts into Common Core curriculum;

• Image Makers, Wamego; $4,000 to hire a photographer.

• Fisch Haus, Wichita; $4,000 to make the gallery more accessible.


patkindle 4 years, 11 months ago

since art is so important in Kansas and lawence, I wonder how much individual money was raised during the dry spell of the hiatus??

question4u 4 years, 11 months ago

"I wonder how much individual money was raised during the dry spell..."

Why wonder? Why not look at the annual report that every non-profit organization is required to post online? It takes about a minute to access that information for The Lawrence Arts Center.

The names of more than a hundred $1000-or-higher donors are listed as well as those of individual members and donors, business members and donors, and in-kind donors. Total revenues are listed and the sources are broken down into percentages.

Donations and sponsorships were $259,673.94, or more than four times what the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission gave in grants to organizations across the entire state.

James Nelson 4 years, 11 months ago

With the way Brownback has treated arts in general since becoming governor, the piddling sums they are finally giving out won't get things going at all. The amount is so tiny compared to what the Kansas art world received before I would tell Pat George, Sam's mouthpiece, to stick it where the sun don't shine. The sad truth is that they won't be giving out any more during the next two years, either. Sam will learn this won't win those grants back.

patkindle 4 years, 11 months ago

I think the people of Lawrence should be commended for raising their own funds instead of drinking from the trough of pork barrel slop

oldexbeat 4 years, 11 months ago

Pat George spent $12,000 to charter a plane and fly back to Topeka from his businesses in California to get the casino passed for his buddies in Dodge City.

That is as much about the arts as Pat knows -- the gaming arts. Or cares.

Patricia Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

Sam's trip to the air show in paris was partially funded by a federal grant. You know, the kind he has such disdain for when it doesn't benefit him.

He also knows that artists and not usually his kind of voters. Why waste the money on people who won't vote for him?

Robert Rauktis 4 years, 11 months ago

Publicly funded art: the best thing since Leni Riefenstahl. Where are the Borgias when you need them? Perhaps the Koch brothers could use some statuary around the pool.

Jonathan Becker 4 years, 11 months ago

$58,000 out of a $200,000 budget? That is, let me take off my shoes to do the arithmetic, ... 29% of the budget. If this were a non-profit soliciting donations, we would scream to the IRS about how much of the income is going to expenses and not to the purpose. And most of that 29% went to bricks and mortar and not to artists.

Whether you believe or don't believe in public funding of the arts, we wuz robbed.

patkindle 4 years, 11 months ago

not sure why the artists need funded, they should be self supporting or find work that is why do we need to tote their load?, why do we want to support people whose lack of talent make their art un saleable ? too many losers , not enough talent

Patricia Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

Looking at the winners of the state's grant, almost all go to infrastructure, not to specific artists. It seems the state is investing in community development to foster the arts, not "losers." Of course, "loser" is quite a large tent for many people to congregate in, especially that big tent of the republican party.

oldexbeat 4 years, 11 months ago

You truly don't understand how the process was done before -- it was not to help one artist -- in our community, the money provided the Arts Center with large print newsletters for those that needed them; support summer art classes for hundreds of children; allow this small town to bring in a national exhibit one year which would not have been possible without some financial help. If you bothered to research, there is lots of evidence that supporting arts and art museums brings bonus money into the state and the towns involved, and it is certain that Brownback cost the state of Kansas a million dollars the first year he killed the Arts Commission. I don't think you want a serious discussion about the value of arts, given your use of the word loser.

blindrabbit 4 years, 11 months ago

That slick snake in Cedar Crest is just trying to collect backing and votes for the next election. Just think: "What a supported of the Arts" he is , blasphemy!

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