TOPEKA, Kan. – The National Endowment for the Arts has determined that the State of Kansas will lose all federal partnership funds – $778,300 – if the Kansas Arts Commission is no longer a state agency and funds are not matched by the state. The financial stability of Kansas arts organizations in funding by the Commission is also at risk.
On January 12, Governor Sam Brownback released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2012 with plans to issue executive reorganization orders to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission.
“The Governor’s proposal may save the state $574,642 in the short term,” said Henry Schwaller, chairman of the Kansas Arts Commission. “But elimination of this state agency will have a ripple effect on other sectors of the economy, and Kansas will actually lose money.”
In addition to the loss of federal funds, the Mid-America Arts Alliance will no longer partner with the Kansas Arts Commission – the state will lose additional grants and services from its partner, valued at $437,767.
“The Kansas nonprofit arts and cultural sector is a $153.5 million industry, supporting over 4,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generating over $15 million in state and local government revenues,” Schwaller said.
“These revenues will decrease as arts organizations cut programs and services.”
In Fiscal Year 2011, the state spent .29 cents per capita on the arts. If the Governor’s proposal is accepted, the state will spend .07 cents per person — far less than any other state in the nation (California, ranked 50th, spends .12 cents per person).
“If Kansas loses federal funding, the NEA will grant these funds to other states, strengthening their economic competitiveness and weakening ours,” said Llewellyn Crain, executive director of the Kansas Arts Commission.
“Cities thrive, grow, attract and retain businesses when the arts are supported, she said. “Investment in the arts increases the capacity of Kansas cities to build tourism and broaden their tax base.”
The Kansas Arts Commission is a state agency, funded by the State of Kansas and the National Endowment for the Arts, dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts in Kansas. Its mission is to provide opportunities for the people of Kansas to experience, celebrate and value the arts throughout their lives.
For more information on the Kansas Arts Commission, please visit the KAC website at http://arts.ks.gov/.