To the editor:
In this time of economic uncertainty, it often becomes necessary to separate those things we need from those we want or think we need. Please understand I am not making any statements based on political preference. We have already determined that we are not all on the same page in that arena.
I hope you are all aware that our current governor has deemed it necessary and acceptable to scrap the Kansas Arts Commission. We are the only state in the Union to have taken such action. Governor Brownback says we are “trendsetters” and that other states will follow our lead.
For me this is a quality of life issue. Reducing the budget deficit is obviously very important, but it should be done in a manner that preserves the things that make living here seem like a reasonable idea. In view of the summer we have just lived through there is not a lot that makes Kansas seem like a desirable place to live.
Why is the Kansas Arts Commission important to Peabody and Peabody Main Street, you might ask. We have just had another Sleepy Creek concert. We are, in a sense, music promoters.
There are a multitude of communities in Kansas that have some sort of summer concert series, community theater group, or symphony. Many of these groups looked to the Kansas Arts Commission for grants to subsidize their organizations.
These entertainment entities contribute much to the enjoyment of life in small rural towns in our state. Even Wichita Music Theater, Symphony, and Opera count on the commission for funding.
Can we all go on living without this type of entertainment? Of course we can; but I for one don’t think we should have to. A fair decision would have made cuts to the Kansas Arts Commission, as well as other such entities, without completely dissolving it.
Governor Brownback believes volunteers can do the work of the commission and life as we know it will continue. It will never happen!
There is a movement across the state to try to get the Kansas Arts Commission reinstated. I hope you will contact your representative and the governor’s office regarding this important issue.
It goes hand-in-hand with the trend toward removing music and art programs from our schools. Music and art have the power to shape all of our lives in a positive way and life without either one of them is neither desirable nor acceptable to me.