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. Dean Ottinger

    Sam Brownback is a coward of the highest order.We Kansans are highly embarassed today.He is totally in the pocket of the Koch brothers and his highlly idealogical backers

    June 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      You can say that again. But we knew all along what he was...and that he would start weilding that torch of his..as soon as he hit the doors....smh

      June 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rick

    That's okay. Despite the GOP's war on human creativity, it will survive long after the GOP itself has become a forgotten party.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. OG Sailor

    Another reason to move from Kansas...LOL.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kansas Opera Singer

    Brownback, you have no idea what sort of fight you have started..... Artists are given a political platform every time they take the stage.... We will use it to dethrone you.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Falstaff

    Eliminating state funding for the Arts will probably end up costing more than it saves. Without state funds, they get no matching federal funds, so some programs may be eliminated or reduced–resuling in loss of jobs; employment, sales & property taxes; and income to vendors of supplies (paint, lumber, etc.). The availability of Art projects can also have an impact on tourism.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jim

    I live next door to kansas and we have a democrat governor who has made even more drastic cuts that Brownback, so it's not a republican or democrat issue it's a we're broke issue and how important is a painting that someone just splashed some colors on and gave it a name-i've seen kids' scribblings that are better than a lot of this supposed art.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      Yeah...but Brownback is just starting out...and has hit the most precious first. No telling what shape Kansas will be in when he finishes his reign

      June 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jinx

    @Scott:
    "You stated:
    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".

    He used an line-item veto.
    He did this all on his own.
    HE whacked it.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      Thank you. Brownback told all what we were in for, when he was running...and what did we get.

      June 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Andy

    If the arts are that important to you then send them money.
    I ask all of you, what would you cut from the budget?
    OG, I70 runs east to west and I35 will take you north or south, nobody is stopping you from leaving.
    Rick, what war on creativity? Do you really think it takes government grants to be creative? How sad.
    Dean, I feel no embarrassment, but I'm not a native Kansan. I have, however asked some of my friends and family that are native Kansans and they are not embarrassed.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Kansan who cares

      Most Kansans I know are thoroughly embarrassed. Brownback is an egotist and ideologue, who went against the vast will of the people, including a majority of the legislators in his own party. He didn't campaign on this issue, it was a nasty surprise to the people of Kansas.

      June 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Just did a quick poll of 22 of my Kansas friends/family.
      18 didn't care about this, 2 didn't realize this was cut and 2, well let's say they are not into the arts.
      Name me a politician that doesn't have an ego.
      I don't really care for Brownback either, but I do agree this funding needs to be ended. If it is that important find private funds.

      June 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      Well...that's not saying very much for your friends and family

      June 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jim

    Really don't see a lot of people clamoring to go to an arts project convention-unless you're counting star trek conventions as such.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jim

    @HiVeloCT, you do realize that government funding of the arts is what historically limits artistic expression-not private funding.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Stephen

    Don't enrich yourself with art. Just stay focused on learning creationism in your science class. Good job, Kansas.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Truthwillsetyoufree

    This is what the GOP does. They take money from the create and health portions of society and then claim they didn't raise taxes. This country is screwed without these areas. Our children will all be brainless automatons. What a sick society we are letting things like this happen. Never take the money from where it all is because those people are who are running the country in these states. Greed rules right now. Sad state of affairs.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Our children have been brainless automatons for years. The US education rankings are dropping almost as fast as the value of the dollar. Again I ask, where would you make the cuts?

      June 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tintala

    Time to get the hell outa Dodge. Kansas sucks! I make a living witth the arts , what a conservative republican christian, probably thinks music is from the devil.

    June 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Can you not be creative without government handouts?
      I am conservative and a Christian and I love music and pray for leftists that cannot be self sufficient.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CSnSC

    Never fails, couple of conservative,fact based comments and the know-it-all libs desend from theyre Ivory Towers like an angry mob. Shouting the same BS. Gets old dosnt it ?

    June 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Madeleine

    Kansas Arts Commission funding cost each Kansan 29 cents per year.
    There are about 37,000 people state wide who would become unemployed.

    1. The average annual state income tax for these 37,000 people is at $1,000
    2. $500 per person unemployed for 6 months
    3. loss of tax revenue of $18.5 million
    4. each of these 37,000 would receive an average of $300 per week for 6 months
    5. totals up to $288.6 million in unemployent benefits paid out over that same 6 months

    total of the cost of cutting $575,000 from the budget (by eliminating the arts) could potentially cost $307.1 million.

    The tax burden per Kansas cow is higher than tax funding for the arts.
    All research shows that kids who have arts and music education do better in school in all subjects.

    Well.....we let him in office. Let's get him out as fast as possible.

    June 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      I know I'm not a very smart man but if you divide $575000 (arts cut in budget) by 37000 (people dependent on the arts) that comes to about $15. Find 37000 people to cough up $15 and donate it to save the $288.6million in unemployment payments.

      Just how are 37000 people going to become unemployed by cutting the arts?

      And again, what would you cut?

      June 2, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
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