Kansas loses more arts funding

As if losing its state arts commission isn’t bad enough, Kansas arts organizations have now lost  well over $1 million in funding they historically have received annually from the Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts. 


MAAA and the NEA had no choice in the matter. Their grant funds to states have always been contingent upon the existence of a state arts agency. The Kansas Arts Commission was eliminated earlier this year by an executive order of Governor Sam Brownback. He unceremoniously fired the agency’s employees and created a private group to raise money. 

Reportedly, that group is already foundering and significant issues have been raised regarding the fact that a private foundation w, ill never have its feet held to the fire of transparency. It won’t be subject to open-records laws unlike state arts organizations nationwide.

Last week, MAAA announced a round of performing arts grants. Oklahoma received more than $60,000:

Community Engagement with Touring Artists – Awardees and City

Poncan Theatre Company, Inc., Ponca City

Northeastern State University, Tahlequah

Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust, Tulsa

Living Arts of Tulsa, Inc., Tulsa

South Asian Performing Arts Foundation, Tulsa

Regional Touring Program – Awardees and City

Charles B. Goddard Center for the Visual & Performing Arts, Ardmore

Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant

Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma City

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Inc., Shawnee

Northwestern Oklahoma State University Foundation, Inc., Enid

Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Goodwell

Travel Stipends – Awardees and City

Oklahoma City Ballet Society, Inc., Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma City

Kansas is the only state in the United State that doesn’t have state arts funding.