Arts advocates have criticized the Kansas Commerce Department’s decision to roll over $400,000 in arts funds into the next two fiscal years.
Kansas Citizens for the Arts chairman Henry Schwaller IV of Hays said the decision means $400,000 that was designated for arts grants won’t be spent this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
Secretary of Commerce Pat George says rolling over “unspent” funds into future years gives the commission more flexibility in administrating grant programs.
The argument is the latest in ongoing disputes between arts advocates and Gov. Sam Brownback, who in 2011 abolished the Kansas Arts Commission, costing Kansas about $1.3 million in federal and regional matching funds.
Last year, the state established the Kansas Creative Arts Commission and placed it under the Commerce Department.