Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who sought last year to scuttle the state Arts Commission, signed legislation last week merging the group with the state’s film-services agency in an overhaul aimed at shifting the group’s focus to job creation, the Associated Press says.
Support for the new Creative Arts Industries Commission remains uncertain, with the governor proposing $200,000 for the panel and legislators seeking more as they wrestle with budget issues.
After Mr. Brownback’s plan to replace the Arts Commission with a private, donor-supported foundation was rebuffed by lawmakers last year, he vetoed all support for the grant-making panel, making Kansas the only state to eliminate arts spending.
The new commission, whose job it is to boost economic development in the creative sectors, represents “a real collaboration” among the governor, legislators, and arts supporters, said Sarah Carkhuff Fizell of advocacy group Kansas Citizens for the Arts.