Kansas governor eliminates state funding for arts
The Kansas Arts Commission's website notes that all programs and grant operations have been terminated.
June 2nd, 2011
12:11 PM ET

Kansas governor eliminates state funding for arts

Kansas has become the first state to have all its state funding for arts programs eliminated.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback used a line-item veto to cut public funding for the Kansas Arts Commission. The commission has been operating since 1966, a year after Congress set up the National Endowment for the Arts.

The commission's Web site announced the news starkly with the sentence:  "All Kansas Arts Commission programs and grant operations for Fiscal Year 2012 have been terminated effective immediately."

Brownback has been outspoken about his desire to make arts funding entirely private.

The conservative leader has pointed to Vermont as a state with a nonprofit arts agency that's privately funded. But Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Alexander L. Aldrich responded by writing an open letter to Brownback, noting that without state appropriations it would be unable to provide "underserved communities" with arts education or "accessibility services to hundreds of historic cultural venues that were built long before the passage of the (Americans With Disabilities Act), and a host of other grants that support our creative sector."

"... (E)very State SHOULD invest in the arts sector simply because it makes good economic sense," the letter also says.

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Filed under: Kansas • Politics
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. WellIGuessImNotGettingAnArtDegreeHere

    Everything you said is correct. I live in Kansas City and I'm infuriated. You can get hundreds of dollars out of the arts in just ONE day. can't they just cut funding for something else right? like fundraising. they do probably 500 fundraises every year. either cut funding to that or do more so you can support funding for arts.

    June 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Char

    Unbelievable!

    June 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dan

    I do not live in Kansas so I honestly don't know what that is like. I do know that in other parts of the county there is a grat deal of artistic talent is a group of people often overlooked. That is the economic and social underclass. I have written grants to try and help these kids get out of the world they are in and become well functioning contributors to our intellectually enriched nation. Many of our greatest musicians come from this group. If you look at our history it is there. We are not talking about a great deal of money here. Money that does (In other parts of the county) save lives. Lets get our kids out of the bad situations they are in and give them a chance to live. These kids can't give a contribution. There parents can't either. They are trying to buy gas and food on under 8 dollars an hour. I have been a registered Republican for 30 years and I don't know my oun party anymore.

    June 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
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