Statement from Former Kansas Arts Commissioners regarding
THE KANSAS ARTS COMMISSION
Cutting state funding will jeopardize direct federal dollars and indirect programs and services that go to small businesses, not-for-profit and for-profit, throughout the state. The loss of these dollars on top of the loss of state funds will mean a smaller rate of return to state and local governments, thereby contributing to the deficit in the long run.
In addition, a private corporation for the arts will then compete with other arts organizations in Kansas for funds. Eighty-five percent of arts organizations have seen private contributions decrease in the last two years; it would be wrong for the designated state arts agency to compete with the organizations it serves merely to provide minimal services.
As Kansas communities strive for economic growth, particularly in rural Kansas, it is essential that communities offer a quality of life that appeals to businesses. Businesses want to relocate to communities with a strong arts base, and young workers with families want to live in communities that offer arts opportunities. Without support from the Kansas Arts Commission many rural communities will not be able compete with larger cities. This is a direct conflict with the Governor’s goal of attracting business to our state.
The quality of life for rural Kansans should not be disproportionately sacrificed.
For many rural communities, the Kansas Arts Commission’s support, with its matching requirements, is vital to attract local funding, which is very limited. The Kansas Arts Commission makes it possible for many small communities to offer arts education programs and summer and afterschool activities to children as well as keep senior citizens active and engaged. Without state funding, many of these activities will simply disappear.
Therefore, we, former Kansas Arts Commissioners, strongly support level-funding of the Kansas Arts Commission and its retention as a state agency that serves the entire state.
Leah Ann Anderson, Lindsborg
Clark Balderson, Wamego
Judy Langley, Hutchinson
Alberta McGrath, Prairie Village
Ellen Morgan, Salina
Harolyn Clark O’Brien, Leawood
Elwanda Richardson, Kansas City, KS
Callie Allen Seaton, Winfield
Denny Senseney, Wichita
Lemuel Sheppard, Pittsburg
Jill Warford, Fort Scott
Anita Wolgast, Topeka
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/.