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New Kansas Arts Commission Accepting Grant Proposals

Richard Tanton

The new state-run arts commission announced funding opportunities for Kansas arts agencies Tuesday.

The 7-month-old Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission was created in response to the backlash over Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of arts funding in 2011. The new programs require grant seekers to propose projects that create jobs and grow the Kansas economy.

Henry Schwaller is a commissioner on the Creative Arts Industries Commission, he says they are under pressure to grant funds by June 30 because the governor does not want to provide a full appropriation for the arts in the next fiscal year.

"The commission, knowing that arts organizations across the state are hurting, wanted to make sure that we allocated these monies and had them, at least, encumbered as soon as possible," he says.

The program models came from other states and Schwaller says they may not be right for the arts in Kansas, but he is hopeful the funding opportunities will help some organizations who have been without state funding for two years.

"We did not have a chance to create programs in a thoughtful or strategic way," he says.

Deadlines begin in March. Applications for grants through the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission are available at kansascommerce.com/caic.