In February, Brownback had issued an order to eliminate the Arts Commission as a cost-cutting move and replace it with a private, nonprofit foundation. The plan brought widespread opposition with supporters of the commission saying it was needed to lure federal arts dollars and provide important programs in local communities. The Kansas Senate rejected Brownback’s order and both the House and Senate agreed to fund the commission at $689,000 for the year. Even so, Brownback earlier this month issued layoff notices to the commission’s staff of five employees.
In his veto message to the Legislature, Brownback said, “In difficult fiscal times such as these, the state must prioritize how to spend its limited resources and focus its attention on providing core services. The arts will continue to thrive in Kansas when funded by private donations, and I intend to personally involve myself in efforts to make this happen.”
Sam Brownback has cost the State of Kansas over $1.2 million by vetoing the funding for the Kansas Arts Commission.
We take up the question of the future of the arts in Kansas with: Llewellyn Crain, Kansas City Symphony; Jay Nelson, Kansas Arts Commissioner; Henry Schwaller, chairman of the Kansas Arts Commission; Penny Senften, Director, Manhattan Arts Center.
Kansas Citizens for the Arts on Facebook.
Kansas Arts Movement on Facebook.
Fallacies of the Kansas Veto, Jonathan Katz, Executive Director, National Assembly of State Art Agencies, June 2011.
Reactions to the demise of the Kansas Arts Commission, Ian David Moss, Createquity, June 6, 2011.
State’s balanced budget could force local governments to increase taxes or cut services, Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal World, June 5, 2011.
'Falling backwards': Lawrence artists react to Kansas Arts Commission closing, Sarah Henning, Lawrence Journal World, June 5, 2011
Moderation wanes in Kansas as Brownback off to fast start, John Hanna, Associate Press, Lawrence Journal World, June 4, 2011.
Governor names arts chairman, pledges funding, Hawver's News Company, June 3, 2011.
Open letter to Kansas governor Sam Brownback, Laura Zabel, Minnesota Playlist, June 1, 2011.
Art's Ax, editorial, Lawrence Journal World, June 1, 2011
Americans for the Arts criticizes Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of Kansas Arts Commission funding, John Hanna, Associate Press, Lawrence Journal World, May 31, 2011.