Brownbeck’s comments get cold reception at Kansas City Ballet

Posted on: September 6, 2011

In Saturday’s (9/3) Kansas City Star, Robert Trussell writes, “The recent grand opening of the Kansas City Ballet’s new home near Union Station was a festive affair as dignitaries gathered with hundreds of artists and arts administrators beneath a tent in the new center’s parking lot. As you would expect, elected representatives—including Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver—sent emissaries bearing proclamations. But eyebrows arched at the introduction of David Kensinger, chief of staff to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, the man who defunded the Kansas Arts Commission. ‘Congratulations on the opening of the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity,’ Brownback’s proclamation read in part. ‘It will serve, now and in the future, to propel Kansas City Ballet towards its vision of making Kansas City a destination for dance.’ There was no audible hooting, but a few in attendance reportedly exchanged words with Kensinger before he made it back to his car. … In February [Brownbeck] signed two executive orders, one abolishing the state arts commission and transferring its duties to the Kansas Historical Society, the other creating the Kansas Arts Foundation, envisioned as a nonprofit corporation that would be funded privately. … Defunding the arts commission had economic ramifications. The state lost $1.2 million in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mid-America Arts Alliance.”

Posted September 6, 2011