Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Kansas and Other States Cut Arts Funds

Now that the debt ceiling's been raised, and the fiscally responsible citizens of the country have been excoriated as terrorists, it's time for the New York Times, and the rest of the liberal mainstream press, to go back to the shocking hardships facing the good people of the country. The Times thinks that this is a story. So do I.

But we disagree on what the story is...
For 10 years, Erika Nelson, an artist in Lucas, Kan., has been making miniature models of giant pieces of Americana, putting them in a van and driving around the country to show people.

She has made tiny copies, for example, of the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, which is down the road in Cawker City, and the World’s Largest Can of Fruit Cocktail, which is in Sunnyvale, Calif.

She calls her mobile museum the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things.

But this year she may not be able to travel far. Kansas, which has one of the country's smallest state arts budgets, has decided to shrink it even further, to zero.

“I think it’s a sad day for Kansas,” said Ms. Nelson, who lost a $2,000 state grant that had helped underwrite her van’s trips to colleges and county fairs.
I'm sorry, I had to read that four times to make sure that I got it right. She's made "tiny copies...of the World’s Largest Ball of Twine...and the World’s Largest Can of Fruit Cocktail," (let me guess - do they look like a ball of twine and a can of fruit cocktail?) and gotten tax payer funding for it? Hey, my hometown is home to the world's largest teflon-coated frying pan - if I go to my cupboard and get a "tiny" version of it, will the state give me a grant to take it on tour?

So the Times is obviously offended that the taxpayers of Kansas aren't going to be paying for these artistic endeavors anymore. I'm offended that they were in the first place. I have nothing to say against Erika Nelson, who may well be a lovely, hard-working well-intentioned young lady. But. It boggles the mind that anyone should have a single penny of his or her income confiscated to support a woman in the "art" of driving around the plains of Kansas with a ball of twine and a can of fruit cocktail.

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