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Letter to the editor: Arts deserve support

To the editor,

I was saddened to read George Will’s comments regarding the arts. In our fiercely divided world, shouldn’t we search out, embrace and celebrate our shared emotions, dreams, aspirations and memories? When weapons and generals are forgotten we continue to seek out and learn from the cave paintings of France, the statuary of ancient Egypt, the plays and poetry and architecture of the Greeks and Romans. Our arts are the family photos of our universal humanity. They deserve our support.

Comments

RJ Johnson

Not at a cost to the tax payers!!

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Ray Mizumura

Good morning, Mary. Your letter is simple, moving, and right. We need more thoughts like yours and more people like you. My thanks and respect.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Ray Mizumura

Yes, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are worthy of receiving public funds, i.e. "at a cost to the taxpayers." The individuals and organizations who receive grants earn them by working hard and contributing to their communities.

Taxpayers do not subsidize these projects or provide livings for artists and scholars, they provide modest help and the grants are an investment in our future.

I pay taxes, I don't resent doing so, and I especially don't resent the very small, reasonable portion of my tax dollar going to constructive agencies like NEA and NEH.

Again, thank you, Mary. Your letter is a much-needed positive statement in these often very negative, confrontational, misinformed times.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

If you want to support the arts, do so. Don't use the mailed fist of the government to force everybody else to chip in.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Ray Mizumura

That's some vivid and stirring prose, Mr. Smith. Maybe you could apply for a grant while there's still time?

Seriously, you can try to make this sound like something out of "Braveheart" if you want, but Mary Doveton is right, and so is Mike Huckabee for that matter. He's got a smart and well-informed op-ed putting things into perspective on this, out today.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

Your declaration of what is right fails to convince me. Perhaps you should paint a giant mural expressing your opinion. BTW, I'm not going to buy brushes for you.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Armen Kurdian

There is no compelling reason for the Government to be funding the arts. There is plenty of private money out there to do so. There is also the small matter of a $20T deficit, and funding arts & CPB is not something that is anything near as important as military readiness, counter-terror, law enforcement, etc.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Ken Lassman

I can't believe you are saying this after the hard times in our state that was triggered by the elimination of the Kansas Arts Commission. The so-called private contributions that were supposed to materialize never happened and state funding has continued to dwindle, reducing federal matching funds even further. Arts have a powerful multiplying effect in the same way as funding for roads, water and other infrastructure, and to say we need to pay more attention to military readiness instead of the arts and CPB is a false equivalence if there ever was one. By such reasoning, you should give the money you were planning to spend on re-roofing your house to the military.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

"I can't believe you are saying this after the hard times in our state that was triggered by the elimination of the Kansas Arts Commission..." I think you are greatly overplaying the economic impact of the Kansas Arts Commission.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Ken Lassman

The hard times I was referring to is the state of the arts, Bob. Many rural communities cancelled festivals, exhibits, community theater and other arts related events that simply couldn't continue without some infusion of funds from the Arts Commission, and the predicted private donations never materialized. Those types of events DO generate quite a bit of local economic activity, with arts investment dollars getting a very good return economically, plus help strengthen sense of community and lifetime memories in ways that are very analogous to small town sports.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Ray Mizumura

There are numerous compelling reasons for this positive, constructive, and modest use of tax revenues, but you wouldn't be interested in them, Mr. Kurdian. If you think that the continued funding of NEA/NEH/CPB endangers any of the priorities you mention, you just don't know what you're talking about.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bob Summers

In America, the arts, abortion and sanctuary cities need to be funded by the half of the population that supports the other half.

Could you supporters imagine having to deal with these people not being provided their infrastructure needs of arts, abortion, and sanctuary cities?

Not me. I have a hard enough time dealing with them when their infrastructure needs are met.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jonathan Becker

Choose between the Bombastic Bob's or this:

Winston Churchill was asked in WWII if he supported a cut in funding of the arts. The Prime Minister replied, "Then what are we fighting for?"

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

You've got some fake news there, Jonathan. http://www.snopes.com/winston-churchi...

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Ray Mizumura

Good morning, Jonathan and Mr. Smith. True, according to information on Snopes, that there's no record of Churchill making that comment. The Prime Minister did, however, make a statement relevant to our discussion, as I found when I read the entire piece (unlike Mr. Smith--probably--and if he did, he wouldn't emphasize it, I'm sure). It's in the part I cut from Snopes and pasted below:

(Start of cut and paste) I’ve seen [this quote] all over the place, but it’s quite bogus.

Not that Churchill lacked interest in the arts–in 1938 he uttered the following:

“The arts are essen­tial to any com­plete national life. The State owes it to itself to sus­tain and encour­age them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the rev­er­ence and delight which are their due.”

But this was, of course, before Britain was engaged in a war for national survival.(End of cut and paste)

What it boils down to for me is this: Jonathan, you made a mistake, but Mr. Smith deliberately distorts the role of the NEH/CPB/NEA in the federal budget and is dishonest about the impact of that role on individual taxpayers. For all his talk of the "mailed fist," Mr. Smith is out to intimidate and silence people, but it doesn't work because his views are nonsense.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

I didn't do anything to silence anyone. Just pointing out when a lie is posted. But rave on, bub.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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Matthew Herbert

For what it's worth, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the arts contributed $730 billion to the GDP when each day 4.8 million Americans go to work in the arts and culture industry.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

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