Wed March 16, 2011
Senate Votes on Kansas Arts Commission
The Kansas Senate on Wednesday afternoon takes up a resolution that could determine the fate of the state arts agency. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, Mo – The Kansas Senate on Wednesday afternoon takes up a resolution that could determine the fate of the Kansas Arts Commission. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
In February, Governor Brownback issued an executive reorganization order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission (KAC). Facing a $550 million budget shortfall, Brownback argued that abolishing the state's arts agency, and creating a nonprofit arts foundation in its place, would save the state money.
Arts officials, business and foundation leaders met Tuesday for an arts update at the Central Exchange. KAC Director Luellen Crain said the state gets a big return - $1.2 million in matching funds - on a small investment.
"We are a $13 billion dollar economy in the state of Kansas. $800,000 to the arts," says Crain. "What does that $800,000 get us? It gets us matching money from the National Endowment for the Arts. It gets us services from Mid-America Arts Alliance. And those services go directly to artists and arts organizations."
A resolution opposing Brownback's executive order is scheduled for a full Senate vote this afternoon. Crain says it will take 21 votes to retain the Kansas Arts Commission.
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