Earlier this month, Mayor Lucas submitted his proposed budget for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. Click here to read the transmittal letter which summarizes the budget and click here to find the entire $1.73 billion budget. The budget provides funding for increases to Public Safety for more police officers, increases to Public Works for street repairs, increases to Neighborhood and Housing Services for trash collection and recycling, and also provides $4.8 million for free transit. This laudable effort focuses on improving basic services and deferred maintenance.
Unfortunately, the proposed budget also recommends defunding the Office of Culture & Creative Services, decreasing funding for the Film Office and local film incentives, decreasing funding for ArtsTech, decreasing funding for the Neighborhood Tourism Development Fund which supports many cultural activities and decreasing funding for other small business and innovation efforts.
In 2013, the City adopted the citizen-led Arts Convergence Plan, the first cultural master plan for our city which also established the Office of Culture and Creative Services. This plan was the result of a huge community process and should not be disregarded. Additionally, if the Office of Culture and Creative Services is dismantled, we will fall behind our peer cities who all have similar offices that provide benefits to their citizens.
The Art in the Loop Foundation supports retaining Kansas City’s Office of Culture and Creative Services and KC Film Office’s Incentive program. These programs ensure arts, culture and creativity have a voice across City Departments and have reaped dividends for the citizens and businesses of Kansas City. According to ArtsKC’s recent analysis:
A dedicated office of culture and creative services inspires and drives:
- $250 million in arts and culture economic impact in KCMO
- $20 million in direct government revenue for the City of Kansas City, MO
- 8,000 jobs in the City of Kansas City, MO
The KC Film Office’s incentive program has:
- Given project assistance to more than 1,000 projects, with an economic impact of $50 million.
- Incentivized film projects to hire locally, creating thousands of job opportunities in 6 years.
- Given bonuses to projects that feature local artists or organizations—further boosting our area.
We stand with our local artists and creatives in requesting Kansas City’s Mayor and City Council to continue investment in these programs. Click here for additional information: KCMO Budget Advocacy Packet.
There is still time to show your support for the arts. The City has two more budget hearings scheduled – these meetings allow time for citizens to share their concerns:
- Saturday, February 29, 9-11 a.m., Southeast Community Center
- Wednesday, March 3, 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m., KCMO Health Department
We encourage you to attend these meetings and let your voice be heard.