Kansas Loses Qualifying Status For Federal, Regional Arts Funding

Jul 19, 2016

A insufficient allocation of money for the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC), a state organization that distributes grant money for community arts, has made Kansas ineligible for close to $800,000 in funds from federal and regional organizations that support the arts.

The state allocated $250,000 less than what was needed to qualify Kansas for federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). That means the state won’t receive close to $400,000 in arts funding from the NEA. And as a result, Kansas is no longer qualified to be a partner with the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), a regional arts organization that provided nearly $390,000 in programs and services to artists, museums, and libraries across the state last year.

Mary Kennedy, CEO of the M-AAA arts alliance, says the situation is unfortunate.

"Kansans are paying their federal taxes and they’re not getting the full benefit of federal programs back into their state,” Kennedy says.

The state has until January to increase the allocated funds and get the federal dollars. If that happens, Kansas would be allowed back into the Mid-America Arts Alliance for the next fiscal year.

"We deeply regret the loss of Kansas to Mid-America Arts Alliance," Kennedy says. "Kansas arts and arts organizations have been extraordinary partners in the delivery of our programs and services to the citizens of Kansas. Last year, more than 41,000 Kansans benefited from the programs and services provided by the M-AAA to Kansas communities."

This is not the first time funding has been suspended for Kansas. In June 2011, Governor Sam Brownback defunded the Kansas Arts Commission, leading to a loss of funding from both the NEA and the M-AAA. The partnerships were reinstated in 2013 when the state returned funding to the arts and created the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission.


Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter, @AbigailKMUW


To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.