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New State Arts Agency Presents Strategic Plan, Hopes To Restore Federal Funds

Leaders in the Wichita arts community Wednesday met with the director of the newly formed Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission to talk about the organization's strategic plan.

The Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission is the organization formed by the state in the 2012 legislative session in response to the fallout after Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed all arts funding in 2011.

The commission is headed by Peter Jasso, who has been tasked with creating a strategic plan for the organization. Among other things, the plan will help restore funds from the National Endowment for the Arts that were lost after the governor's veto.

In the meeting with area arts leaders, Jasso said his initial goal was getting support for the plan in the legislature so that there continues to be state funding for the arts.

"Because if you don't get to July 1 with state funding then the NEA piece is kind of moot," said Jasso.

The plan draft includes five goals that aim to develop and support creative arts industries in the state through partnership, innovation, job growth and entrepreneurship. Jasso said the plan will hopefully appeal to two different points of view on the arts in Kansas.

"Some parties who may be disinclined toward arts funding, that really wanted to make sure this had economic development, job creation focus, and then there were obviously folks that had, that are inclined toward public arts funding and wanted to make sure it had a cultural, community and artistic focus," he said.

The plan comes under the scrutiny of the NEA in January, and under the scrutiny of the legislature sometime in the 2013 session that begins January 9.