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Wichita Arts Council Braces For Budget Cuts


The Arts Council in Wichita and other organizations in Sedgwick County are bracing for the possibility of county funding cuts next year.

The county’s proposed 2016 budget will be released publicly at a special commission meeting on Monday.

The Sedgwick County manager issued a written notice that the county will be cutting its funding to the Arts Council, but didn’t suggest how much.

The organization received about $14,000 from the county this year and had submitted a request for $15,000 for next year.

Arts Council President Arlen Hamilton is worried they might not get any funding at all. He’s issued a call to action for arts supporters.

"Right now we are encouraging our supporters to contact the commissioners and to express their concern and dismay," Hamilton says.

Hamilton says the Arts Council also receives funding from the City of Wichita.

The county gave notice of possible funding cuts to other organizations, including the Sedgwick County Zoo.

The Arts Council is planning a rally in Old Town on July 31 to coincide with this month’s Final Friday, a night where art galleries, restaurants, and retailers stay open late. The rally is expected to start at 6pm.

The Arts Council in Wichita was created in 1966. The group’s mission is advancing and promoting arts and culture in the Wichita community through advocacy, leadership, education, and collaboration.

The Arts Council says arts and culture is a $66.2 million industry in Wichita that creates more than two-thousand jobs and generates $6.5 million in local and state government revenue.

Comments about the budget can also be submitted online at the Sedgwick County website at www.sedgwickcounty.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.