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. Joe Moore

    I prospered very well. Carter was hard to live through, but I made it on my own.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jim

    @mainguyen, News flash, both parties receive huge donations from corporations. Obama received more than anyone in history from corporations.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe Moore

    Its all about individual responsibility.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jim

    Stop paying for sports arenas? Fine by me.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jim

    @feenicks40, We have a Democrat governor in Missouri and he's cut just as much as Brownback including funding for disabilities so it's not a Democrat-Republican issue, it's a we're all broke issue. There's no more money in the till, when are you people going to get that through your thick skulls.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jim

    BTW, if you're from Kansas why would you be worried about sports arenas being cut-it's not like you have any professional sports teams.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. meeee

    Silly people

    June 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Isotta-Fraschini

    Funny–as a musician, I've played many times in Kansas, but I can actually remember only one time I ever played there: when I was in a small city where I stayed with friends I'd met in Chicago.
    I can remember many times I played in Kansas City, Missouri, since I was twenty-one years old–but that's not Kansas, is it.
    One thing I'd like about classical music's being put on its own financially: then more of us would have to come up with performances actually exciting enough to sell tickets.
    I think that looking for government grants is not the best way to make music.
    The government knows about as much about making music as it does getting children to learn in school.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fernace

    Taxes is the money we Americans pay for programs such as SSI, so that if you are injured & can no longer work you will not become indigent & your family homeless. This money is also designated to various Public Funds that are supposed to support for ex. the arts! For those of you who say if we like the arts so much send them $, I say I already have ,it is called taxes!! What is disturbing is that we don't know where our tax dollars are going since it no longer goes to what it was designated for. Why would any one volunteer their tax paid services to be slashed? Y'all sound like you don't really understand that this is your $ at work. And now it's being taken away to supposedly fix our deficit, but how do we know that & where does it end?!? When I ask what the Bigs are contributing, I mean those large companies we know are getting subsidies & tax breaks. Why would any average, middle class American support such blatant ass kissing?!? I am an average, hardwoking citizen, who just want what I paid for!

    June 2, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. NW1000

    OMG. How will we survive without funding for the Arts.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • wendon

      Somehow we'll bravely go forward sans the art funding! Does this mean no more finger painting in kindergarten?

      June 3, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. Isotta-Fraschini

    I should prefer to pay less in taxes, especially if my taxes are given to healthy young people who are not working.
    There would be more tax money for the arts if less government funding went to welfare.
    I know very few persons who put as much energy as I do into work, and I resent citizens who choose to live on the dole.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sandyk

    regaarding Leo`s comment about Republicans and fixing the roads etc. remember your president say all that would be taken care of with that slush fund oh i mean stimulus package remember those shovel ready jobs? and government back art gave us jars of urine and feces smeared on Jesus..wow who can do that with govt money? lastly when there is no more money you have to stop spending. like someone else said put your money where your mouth and support the arts I dont understand why people think the world stops if the government doesnt pay for what they want.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jim

    @Isotta-Fraschini, Here here, that would be a workable trade off. I've worked all my life tearing off roofing and risking my life doing so-then just to watch my tax money going to some good for nothing druggy really chaps my hide.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sandyk

    Just looking over my comment and sorry for the spelling/grammar goofs

    June 3, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kyle

    This is completely crazy! Our schools are having to cut and faze out art programs. Our Government and some of our citizens seam to think this will help our country(i do say it will help with budget shortcomings) but it will only come back to bite us in the back as our arts start to fade just like the programs. I ask, look at your life and see how much of it is influenced by art, things like music, photography, movies, ect. What would our country be like with out it? Our Government thinks that privet money can help with programs, yes they can, but we the people our struggling with money still. So ask that our government and we the people keep looking for better alternatives than sacrificing our arts.
    Thank you

    June 3, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
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