NEA

The Shawnee Mission School District and its teachers were unable Wednesday to reach a deal on compensation, so the talks will now go to a federal mediator, according to the teachers union.

The negotiations fell apart when the union asked for a $1,350 stipend for teachers who won't get a raise next year as they progress through the salary schedule.

“Most people who go to work and work hard like to see some sort of increase to keep up, in the very least, with the cost of living,” says union president Linda Sieck.

Rohini Devasher, Bloodlines, 2009 / Museum purchase: Helen Foresman Spencer Art Acquisition Fund, 2010.0066

The National Endowment for the Arts announced this week more than $27.7 million in grants for 1,126 projects across the country. The first round of NEA funding in this fiscal year provides tens of thousands of dollars for arts initiatives in Kansas and Missouri. 

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Monday marked Jane Chu's first official visit to Kansas City as the new chair of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chu's post at the NEA was confirmed by the Senate in June. Before then, she served as president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

During her tour of Kansas City, Chu gave a talk about creative leadership and attended a reception with the arts community. She started the day with visits to three arts organizations, including the American Jazz Museum. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Jane Chu, president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, was nominated in February as the next chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts.

According to Kauffman officials, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Wednesday moved Chu's nomination forward to the full Senate.

The timing of the vote has not yet been released. Chu isn't expected to comment until the confirmation process is complete.

Courtesy: M-AAA

According to the National Endowment for the Arts, 40 percent of their grant budget is dedicated to partnership agreements with state arts agencies and regional arts organizations – like the Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, Mo. The NEA recently announced a second round of grants for 2014.

The Kansas House has passed a bill that restricts one type of political fundraising used by public employee unions. The bill would ban public sector unions from making automatic withdrawals from employee paychecks for political purposes. 

The measure passed the House on a 68-56 vote.

Under current law, public employees can voluntarily donate to their union’s political advocacy fund out of their paycheck. Supporters of the bill say it keeps workers from being pressured into making the contributions.

Reid Petty is a Republican from Liberal.

Arts advocates are renewing their call for the governor and Legislature to restore state funding to the Kansas Arts Commission.

The National Endowment for the Arts, or NEA, says the Kansas Arts Commission is not eligible to receive federal matching funds.

Topeka, Kan. – The National Endowment for the Arts, or NEA, says the Kansas Arts Commission is not eligible to receive federal matching funds. That comes after Governor Sam Brownback vetoed the agency's budget earlier this year. As KPR's Stephen Koranda tells us, the governor wants private donations to fund the arts in Kansas.

In a contentious meeting on Tuesday, Linda Browning Weis, the chairwoman of the defunded Kansas Arts Commission, announced she'd sent a letter to the National Endowment for the Arts. Browning Weis argued the organization is still qualified to receive matching federal funds. The NEA released this statement today.

There was heated discussion on Tuesday at the meeting of the Kansas Arts Commission. The conflict was over how the state agency will work with a new private foundation that will raise money for arts programs in Kansas.

Kansas City, Mo. – There was heated discussion on Tuesday at the meeting of the Kansas Arts Commission. The conflict was over how the state agency will work with a new private foundation that will raise money for arts programs in Kansas.