Opinion Columns & Blogs

Will the arts be County Commission’s next target?

In less than a month as chairman of the Sedgwick County Commission, Richard Ranzau already has been able to see his ideological opposition to public health and regional planning turn into policymaking. At the Wednesday commission meeting he signaled another likely target: the county’s involvement in the arts. As Ranzau voted against appointing Annette Graham as the county’s representative on the Arts Council, he said: “I think we need to consider our participation in the Arts Council and its continued funding.” Commissioners Jim Howell and Karl Peterjohn expressed interest in discussing it. In addition to its major support for Exploration Place, also now formally known as the Sedgwick County Science and Discovery Center, the county gives the Arts Council $14,000 a year and supports the Kansas African American Museum ($172,800), the Wichita/Sedgwick County Historical Museum ($90,200) and other events and agencies “that enhance the quality of life of Sedgwick County citizens.” – Rhonda Holman