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. kim

    Those narrow minded republicans why is this not a shock people are truely going to regret voting those evil crazy republicans in office because they only want to repress oppress and regress. They probably intend to steal the funding that is meant for the arts and use it for there own purpose. I cant believe americans are allowing this to happen. Its wrong this brownback sound like a bigot or a communist. There is something seriously wrong!

    June 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      And just how would those narrow minded, evil, crazy, bigoted, commie republicans spend the money that was earmarked for the arts? What are their "purposes"?

      As for repress, oppress and regress isn't that what the dems are doing with our economy, the value of the dollar, the production of domestic crude oil, and our freedom of choice (health care for an example)?

      Just what would you cut from the budget?

      June 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Kim, don't be so quick to blame republicans for this. I, as well as many of my republican friends, am very supportive of the arts. I am, in fact, a music education major at the University of Kansas. So many people, like Brownback, see the arts as being unecessary spending. Yet they fail to realize that students involved in the arts score higher in subjects such as math and science. I can tell you for a fact that Brownback is on his own; I spoke with the Superintendent of the Douglas school district yesterday in Wyandotte County, and she is very supportive of the arts.

      Its truly heartbreaking that the arts will not be funded by the state. However, the fight is not over. I can say this as a member of the Music Educators National Committee. We have been relentlessly writing letters to our congressional representatives.

      Please don't blame this on a single political party. I can assure you that you are wrong in doing so.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • yellerdog

      Jon: YOU are a tool.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe Moore

    The arts are not going to go away just because the government cut funding. Thats what the private sector is for. Lets cut more government spending.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. courtney

    Being a republican had nothing to do with this, so leave the party card out of this. When I was in high school, I was majorly involved in the arts, and won numerous awards. So, if there cutting art, why can't they cut sports too? How unfair is that. Everyone has different strengths and passions, so if its not a sport, its not important. Wow.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • yellerdog

      Soo.... What award was that?

      June 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe Moore

    @Andy, lol

    June 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe Moore

    Lets vote out the tax and spend liberals and take this country back to greatness and prosperity.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe Moore

    Bush was a progressive not a conservative. You actualy think socialism works? What happens when a gov. runs out of other peoples money?

    June 2, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • yellerdog

      Do you have kids??? Also... you must make more than 250,000.$$$ a year.
      Congrats to you.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. m hall

    way to go governor, i wish illinois governor would do this and not raise taxes 63%

    June 2, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • yellerdog

      mhall...you are an idiot too.

      June 2, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. yellerdog

    Sam Brownback , you are an idiot.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. feenicks40

    Matthew, if you would like to know about what else Mr. Brownback has cut in Kansas, well since I live in the state and have a close friend effected I can tell you that he has cut ALL the funding for those on state general disability assistance. My friend was only receiving 100.00 a month in aid since he has a life threatening disability. Mr. Brownback has cut all those funds to, as well as he has cut our education funding again by 220+ dollars per student. This man is not good for Kansas and I"m happy I did NOT vote in this political creature. Beware the talk about is this one is going to try for President some day. I would be afraid very afraid of that!

    June 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. yellerdog

    YES!! Lets cut garbage collecting!!! What do you do Joe????

    June 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe Moore

    What are you going to do when this country goes bankrupt?

    June 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • yellerdog

      Bush left me bankrupt....how'bout you???

      June 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. yellerdog

    OK!! NOW I get Kansas!!! Thank you. Republicans = no ART. Thank you. OH, should I mention Westboro Church here too? How 'bout the disabilities act.....oops, silly me to get carried away.....must have been Dorthy's tornado.

    June 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mainguyen

    People just don't get it!! The Republicans are interested in ONE thing...profit for LARGE corporations – whatever they be. The corporations FUND the republican party....they line the pockets of republicans in congress and in the the states. If you guys don't get that by now...your idiots!!

    June 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. im right

    Brownbeck is right also! stop spending public funds on silly things! art shmart. .there i just took a dump and ill call it art . .get a life idiots! now we can slice healthcare. .eliminate payments for terminal illnesses hiv attempted suicides and anything else that extends the inevitable. .this country is nothing but wusses anymore may she fall and never recover!!

    June 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. im right

    And im laughing at each one of you now! hows it feel having someone looking in your mouth with uncontollable happiness?

    June 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
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