Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed an executive order this week eliminating the Kansas Arts Commission. The state is facing a nearly $500 million budget shortfall. Abolishing the Arts Commission will save almost $600,000 a year, or .12 percent of that gap.
In other words, about a tenth of one percent. The Kansas legislature can vote to overturn the order within 60 days. Otherwise, it's set to take effect on July 1. For now, from the looks of their website, anyway, the Kansas Arts Commission still thinks of this as a fight. They're making a fiscal argument:
This move jeopardizes:
- $778,200 in direct funding from the National Endowment for the Arts
- $437,767 in indirect grants and services from Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Kansas Arts Commission's regional partner
To stop this and retain the Kansas Arts Commission, one of the state's most successful agencies, a resolution must be passed by Kansas House or Senate legislative bodies.
Contact your legislators NOW to tell them to maintain the Kansas Arts Commission as a state agency and to keep funding at the current level.
The commission tells us the Kansas Governor's Arts Award gala for March 3 is still on.