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RIP Kansas Arts Commission

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An item about the cessation of the Kansas Arts Commission as of this Friday:

http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2011/06/06/236501/on-public-arts-funding-david-koch-lives-with-contradictions/

And unsurprisingly, the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-funded political action group, is a big fan of eliminating the KAC and trusting private giving to take care of the arts.

The essay has some interesting commentary on the NYCB, NYCO, State/Koch Theatre, etc.

It’s hard to live up to your principles all of the time, especially on something that’s dear to your heart, so I can see why Koch would compromise the political framework that organizations he’s funded are supporting when it comes to his passion. He clearly didn’t make giving up government funding a condition of his generous gift to the Lincoln Center. But in a tough economic climate, I wonder if he can see the value of having groups like the NEA and the state arts commission do peer review on projects, and then providing small amounts of funding as a way to validate them and stimulate private giving? And if more government funding would stimulate the private donations that could keep the Opera at Lincoln Center, I wonder if Koch would consider it a worthwhile compromise?

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