Kansas arts organizations will have to leave about $800,000 in federal funding on the table this year. The state's spending on the arts is about $250,000 short of the minimum needed to receive federal matching funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Kansas lawmakers allocated $191,000 in arts funding for this fiscal year. Sarah Fizell with Arts Connect Topeka says state lawmakers need to understand that the arts are important for the entire state.
Fizell says the arts is a huge driver of economic development and must be adequately funded in order to create a vibrant economy. The Topeka Capital Journal reports this is not the first time that the NEA has suspended funding for the state. Kansas' arts funding was suspended for two years in June 2011 after Governor Sam Brownback defunded the Kansas Arts Commission.