Americans for the Arts asks NEA to cut Kansas’ federal arts funding

Posted on: July 11, 2011

In an Associated Press story published in Thursday’s (7/7) Wichita Eagle (Kansas), John Hanna reports, “A national advocacy group is urging the federal government’s arts agency to withhold money from Kansas after Gov. Sam Brownback made it the first U.S. state to eliminate its funding for arts programs. Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit group based in Washington, wants the National Endowment for the Arts to send a strong message that each state must be ‘a fair partner’ in supporting the arts, the advocacy group’s chief executive, Robert Lynch, said Thursday. He said allowing Kansas to receive federal dollars without putting up any of its own funds would be unfair to other states. The NEA has already said that Kansas isn’t eligible for federal funds because it no longer finances a state arts agency, but officials in Brownback’s administration don’t view the issue as settled. Arts advocates expect the state to lose up to $1.2 million a year, both from the NEA and the Mid-America Arts Alliance, a regional group based in Kansas City, Mo. … Lynch said adequate support for the arts requires a partnership involving the federal government, states, local groups and private donors. If the NEA still gives Kansas funds, he said, for other states ‘it just makes it easier to not do the right thing.’ ”

Posted July 11, 2011