Arts are an economic driver for states

Gov. Sam Brownback’s reversal on arts funding was highlighted in a Stateline.org article on how states are recognizing the economic benefit of the arts. Brownback vetoed state funding last year, which also caused the state to lose about $1.2 million in federal and regional arts grants. But this past session, he supported the creation of the Creative Arts Industries Commission. Nationwide, states increased funding an average of 8.8 percent this fiscal year, according to estimates by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. Michigan’s state budget director called his state’s large increase in arts funding an investment in the future. “In order to have a robust economic climate you’ve got to have a robust quality of life, and the arts are a big part of that,” John Nixon said. But the article noted that Kansas likely will miss out again this year on federal and regional arts grants, and that some local organizations, including the Junction City Arts Council, won’t survive the wait for funding.