As expected, the Mid-America Arts Alliance decided that Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to veto funding for the Kansas Arts Commission and lay off all its staff made Kansas no longer eligible to receive arts grants. The National Endowment for the Arts reached the same decision last week. The decisions mean Kansas has lost about $1.3 million in grants. “We are deeply concerned for the artists, arts organizations, arts educators, and arts participants and audiences who will undoubtedly be affected by the loss of the Kansas Arts Commission’s support and leadership,” said Mary Kennedy McCabe, executive director of the six-state alliance. Too bad Brownback wasn’t concerned.
Meanwhile, many arts supporters see hypocrisy in Brownback’s defense of the anti-abortion laws he signed last session. “It was the will of the Legislature and the people of the state of Kansas,” he said when asked last week about the new abortion laws requiring costly defense in court against lawsuits. But what about the will of the Legislature and the public on arts funding?
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