Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Letter to Kansas Secretary of Commerce

To Secretary of Commerce Pat George,

I write this out of frustration and concern. Artists, arts advocates, and legislators fought a difficult battle to have public funding for the arts reinstated this past term, and now it appears that the Department of Commerce cannot or will not account for how those funds have been or will be used.

As an artist, teacher, and taxpayer, I demand that the Department of Commerce account for the $700,000 appropriated for the Kansas Creative Industries Commission. Allowing that a small portion may be used for administration, the majority of these funds must be distributed to non-profit arts agencies across the state. Funding Kansas cultural and creative endeavors is the purpose of these funds, and it is needed desperately.

Art, in all its forms, contains, and is the catalyst for, the stories of our heritage and dreams for a better tomorrow. Stifling the Arts means stifling the song, the poem, and the dance of Kansas. We are better than that. We have $700,000 in the bank to help encourage, inspire and support our creative spirit. Please, make those funds available to non-profit arts agencies now.

Dave Loewenstein, Lawrence

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Arts Commission faces tough questions

Today in Topeka, members of the newly formed Arts Commission were asked about how the $700,000 in state arts funding for this fiscal year was being used. Their answers were less than encouraging. Read the Wichita Eagle article here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kansas Arts Funding in Jeopardy

Artists, Educators, Arts Advocates, and Arts Administrators, 

The future of public support for the arts in Kansas is in jeopardy. Your action is needed now.

In order for Kansas to receive funding in FY14 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) from the National Endowment for the Arts and Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Dept. of Commerce must submit an partnership application to the NEA by October 1st. If they do not, Kansas will not be eligible for this funding until FY15 at the earliest. We must demand that Secretary of Commerce, Pat George, submit this application by October 1st.

There is a second problem. Although the legislature appropriated $700,000, there has been no plan given or public accounting for how these funds have been or will be used. We must demand an accounting for these funds and insure that a large portion is going to non-profit arts programs around the state. If these newly appropriated funds are not used for arts programs, the governor and others may cite this inaction as cause to move the funds to another agency and kill the possibility of renewing public support for the arts in the foreseeable future.

Please contact Secretary of Commerce, Pat George, immediately and urge him to:

1) Submit the partnership application to the NEA by October 1st.

2) Account for the $700,000 appropriated by the legislature for the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission in the current fiscal year. Demand that it be used for non-profit arts programs.

Secretary of Commerce Pat George

email -
phone - (785) 296-3481
Kansas Department of Commerce
1000 S.W. Jackson St.
Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66612