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. Jingoistic Drum Banger

    This is a great move by the republicans. This will free up state money for them to chase little boys and wh0res as per their national party plank.

    Kansas ~ Sam "Super Freak " Brownback – nuff' said.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      You are so right... Just kidding.. This will free up tax payers dollars to be put to better use than crappy "what the hell is that" art work in the park.. Funny how you point out is a "republican" thing.. when yours truly Bill Clinton did the same thing.. they are all politicians which goes hand in hand with "dirt, rotten scoundrels"..

      June 2, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Not-So-Cowardly-Lion

    Thanks Leo for your comment. Not all of us here in KS are republicans. I think the Gov. is delusional!! Why not cut wages from his job if he wants to save money. I just don't understand how people like him get elected.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dgh

    what a looser it has to be a republic.....GOP is just another word for hate...they hate, hate art, music,minorities,diversity,opposition but they love guns, war,large corporation and greed.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Your post has to be the numbest post I've ever read. Must always be the GOP, according to people like yourself, yet I seriously doubt the gov did this of his own accord. If he had no support in the matter, it never would have been whacked. And, no, I do not agree with his thinking. On the other hand, everyone wants a program. The money needs to come from somewhere to pay for them. That means that other expenditures need to be cut – and sometimes the cuts, like this one, hurt. So until you know all the facts, maybe you could include a few democrats in your national rantings, as well.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      That is an opinion of a very close minded person. GOP is another word for hate? Let's see, Fred Phelps is a democrat so I guess I could lump all dems into the same class as Fred, you know, gay haters. Orval Faubus and George Wallace were democrats, I guess I could lump dems into the same class as Orval and George, you know, hates blacks (google Orval Faubus).
      How's it feel to be in the company of haters?

      June 2, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. will geron

    Thats about right!!! Cut funding to needed social enhancement education programs that serve the middle and lower class; the elite republican upper class never utilizes these programs, so they say, "why fund something we dont care about or use?" Republicans are idiots! They are the sole reason our economy is in the current shape its in; nice going you pervs!

    June 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • HiVeloCT

      Please! There's no reason to insult idiots by comparing them to Republicans.

      June 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HiVeloCT

    "Brownback has been outspoken about his desire to make arts funding entirely private."
    Which of course then allows those same "private" backers to base their contributions and the manner in which they can be used on their own personal values. I can see it now, art that doesn't "conform" to what the conservative religious faction deems acceptable will receive NO funding.

    When does the book-burning begin???

    June 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • CG

      You first need books to burn.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jazzzzz

    I eat green lime sherbet with green poop

    June 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jazzzzzz


    June 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |

    The American Taliban is alive and well in Kansas.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Thank goodness we can recognize them on the ballot. They have a (D) next to their names.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. stevo

    The same thing is about to happen in Florida with it's criminal GOP governer. But on the bright side GE paid NO federal taxes last year on Billions in profits... so its just fine if we cut arts and education funding.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • StUpIdTy

      GE is one of Obama's biggest backers.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tiredofitall

    Brownback and that idot Walker in Wisconsin are the future of the GOP. Thank GOD, (My GOD not sammy's or scottyboy's) that the tea party reign will be short lived and American's will see them for what they are.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. meee

    So take it private! dont be so lazy!!

    June 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BostonBill

    Well ,here we have it. Attacks on collective bargaining and the arts. If you look at what was going on in Italy,Germany and Spain in the 1930's,you would see many similarities. Things that encourage people to live and think, are the very things that scare the Fascist most. Just saying.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brian

    Everyone that is posting comments about "republicans" "GOP" "Hate" you all are totally missing the point.. OUR STATE (republican and democrat) is in the hole.. period.. OUR NATION is in a very deep (cannot see the top) hole. Cuts need to be made..

    June 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      Fair enough, Brian. And I don't think anyone would be surprised if SOME funding was eliminated from social groups. But ALL funding? Specifically for a fund that supports something as publicly enriching as the arts? That absolutely smacks of targeted action. We'll see if Governor Brownback makes an equally drastic move against any other publicly funded state program, or if he is simply deciding that the arts and nothing else is unworthy of the approval and encouragement of the state government.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Smalville

    Give it a break! Let people put their money where there mouths are and invest in their local art scene themselves instead of forcing every US taxpayer to foot the bill for them! Think of the positives: no government committees; little to no government oversite; entrepreneurial spirit = innovation & inventiveness multiplied x 10!

    June 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hangtownie

    I see an "American Spring" coming soon.

    June 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
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