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. Mom

    I guess that our society is really going down the tubes when even art is not considered not worthy. Aren't we the sum of our creativity and how we percieve the universe? Or is it all becoming black and white with no way out?
    Art is not just paintings, but writing, sculpture, monuments (like the ones in city centers) Artists design headstones too.
    GOP madmen have taken over. They really should take a pay cut, live in dorms while in DC and get real!

    June 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • bukkakeninja

      Or perhaps we need to find a way to pay for our $1.21 trillion dollar under-funded state level pensions in the US before we give something to an artist for making something prettier or thought provoking.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Why do artists have to rely on the government to be creative? They can't get their creative juices flowing without a handout?
      What about the extreme left mad men/women that have taken over our schools? They have done such a good job educating the kids that we no longer rank in the top in math and science (not sure where we rank in the arts).

      As I have said if the arts are so important to you, give a donation. Oh, and what would you cut from the budget?

      June 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Esther

    This is a very sad day. That's really all I can say.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley

      I completely agree.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BSBB in OZ

    First the Arts....what next? I was worried when he won the election that he would go crazy on just about anything that could be remotely labeled as liberal...Sad to admit think this is just the beginning....Maybe it really is time to "get the hell outta Dodge"...

    June 2, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ds5tz

    Wasn't it the Kansas State Board of Education that wanted evolution stricken from all public biology classes, instead opting for man and dinosaurs running around together? Such that that event prompted the 'creation' of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Hmm, I'm seeing a trend here...

    June 2, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fernace

    Let's see, all these repub politicians are cutting funds for soc.sec., medicare, education, social services such as fire fighters, police, health care workers, & now they're going after public funds for the arts. Next will be museums! What excactly are they doing with Our $?!?All these programs are paid for by our tax$ & now they want public funds, which are also tax $! Are we paying down Bushs' debt or subsidizing "the Bigs"? What are "the Bigs" contributing?!? It is distubing & frustrating to watch these people rading Our coffers, emptying funds for things we truly need & have paid to get, such as education! They seem more than happy to use Public Funds for these new crazy, immigration programs that will not work, but our childrens education is not a priority. Was it not enough for Bush to bleed us dry? Now these GOP'ers are wringing the last drops, in the name of "Sharing the Burden"! What are They "sacrificing"? Nothing!!

    June 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • standingwave

      Fact is,the economy has been a godsend for Republicans.Everything they've wanted for decades to cut is suddenly within reach."Never let a crisis go to waste..."

      June 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • bukkakeninja

      $1.21 TRILLION in underfunded pension costs at the state level. Where do you liberals think this money comes from?

      June 2, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      In case you have not noticed BHO has run up debt faster than any president or combination of presidents in history. I know, it's GWB's fault. Well it's been 2 1/2 years and there is no signs of job growth, unemployment is still at 9% and no signs of significant change in the near future. Yet you want the state to continue spending tax dollars as if there is an endless supply?
      You ask what the "Bigs" are paying. Well last I check the bigs are paying the majority of income taxes. Look it up (here's a hint from a quick search In 2002 the latest year of available data, the top 5 percent of taxpayers paid more than one-half (53.8 percent) of all individual income taxes, but reported roughly one-third (30.6 percent) of income).
      It is a shame that you have been drinking the Kool Aid and liking it.
      I ask you, what would you cut?

      June 2, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe Moore

    Liberalism is a mental disorder. Socialism = people are slaves to big government. Democrats want people to be to stupid to fend for themselves. Welfare creates slaves.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • FBMarky

      I like being a slave to the corporations. They're so much nicer than the government. And you get fries!

      June 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Agreed, it is a Mental Disorder. Unfortunately the libs will read this then apply for SSI and probably get it.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • standingwave

      Your comment might have meaning if you knew what Liberalism and Socialism actually are.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kevin G

    Supplying free money to the arts programs around the state isn't because it makes good economic sense. It is because previous administrations felt the push that they had to support minorities

    June 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe Moore

    That was the Democrat Rham Emanuel that said Dont let a crisis go to waste . Not the Republicans.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • standingwave

      Ehmanuel only put into words a central Republican doctrine.You must have missed the Bush administration.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • standingwave

      And another thing Joe.Are you saying Republicans aren't benefiting from the poor economy.That they aren't getting economic traction against programs and organizations they've been complaining about for years?You know as well as I do that somewhere behind locked doors some group of conservatives are sitting around chortling to themselves about clouds and silver linings as they anticipate the demise of Arts programs,unions,Planned Parenthood, PBS and anything that might actually help the middle class remain independent of corporate slavery.Tool.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. FBMarky

    Eventually, they'll stop paying for sports arenas and the teabaggers will go ballistic. But – it will be too late.

    June 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. taxpaying family

    Ok! Let's keep the arts, and eliminate welfare to people that are capable of working!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • slinky

      When you say "people that are capable of working" (which is grammatically incorrect), do you mean the artists who are living off government grants instead of working?

      June 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Touché, and touché.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mah

    way to go governor wish illinois governor would do the same and not raise taxes

    June 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe Moore

    Socialism impoverishes the people,leads to oppression,robs individual freedoms, and bankrupts nations.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ashley

    How can they abolish the arts? For Some people (like me) arts are what we thrive on. Some people can't do math or science, and the this field is that they are good at, and that they love. Arts are about expression, creativity and a fundamental part of conveying what "life" is. Whose to say that arts are second to the sciences and mathematics? This makes me sick.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mah

    way to go governor i wish illinois governor would do the same instead of raising taxes 63%

    June 2, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mah

    way to go governor, i wish illinois governor do the samething and not raise taxes 63%

    June 2, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
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