KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Citizens for the Arts, a nonprofit statewide grassroots advocacy group supporting funding for the arts, recognized two state senators on Thursday for their work securing funds and supporting the arts academy.

State Sens. Denny Hoskins and Jason Holsman were presented with awards for their work at ArtsKC in the Crossroads District. Arts supporters from Missouri Citizens for the Arts (MCA), Missouri Arts Council, the City of Kansas City and beyond were present.

Phil Dunlap, current president of MCA, said the arts generate over a billion dollars in economic activity.

“You support our polities and we thank you,” Dunlap said.

In FY2018, the Missouri Department of Revenue collected nearly $36 million in new funds from the income tax on professional non-resident athletes and entertainers. 60 percent is to be allocated to the Missouri Arts Council.
Those funds are distributed to five cultural partners: Missouri Arts Council Trust Fund (60 percent), Missouri State Library Networking Fund (10 percent), Missouri Humanities Council Trust Fund (10 percent), Missouri Public Broadcasting Corporation Special Fund (10 percent), and the Missouri Historic Preservation Revolving Fund (10 percent).
Last year, the Missouri Arts Council received $4.8 million for their work promoting and nurturing the arts throughout the state. Dunlap reminded attendees of the reception that this money is not guaranteed and they must continue their advocacy and legislative education outreach.
“Both senators serve on Senate appropriations and helped secure that $4.8 million,” said Kyna Iman, the lobbyist for the Citizens for the Arts. “Holsman served on the budget conference and worked to support the arts academy. Hoskins sponsored the bill to extend the sunset.”
Dunlap, Iman, Holsman, Hoskins
The Missouri Arts Council supported over 500 arts programs throughout Missouri with that $4.8 million in funding.
“You always hear when you do something wrong, but rarely when you do something right,” Holsman said, sharing that his own kids have been pursuing the arts. “This justifies itself to the public benefits. When I show up to work, I think of my son and daughter. When I heard the fine arts academy was going to be cut, that was unacceptable.”

Holsman spearheaded the effort to preserve the Missouri Fine Arts Academy at Missouri State University. The program is a three-week residential program for 150 artistically-gifted high school juniors and seniors.

“I’m so glad to be getting this award with Denny,” Holsman said. “Arts are not partisan. When you close your eyes and a performance takes you away, that is not partisan. Every day you can look around and see what the arts do.”


Hoskins’ bill, SB773, is responsible for extending a sunset on non-resident athletes and entertainers tax to 2030 among other taxation modifications. Hoskins shared that in his first years in the legislature, he had amendments to cut arts funding.

Beyond applauding successes from the past legislative session, the senators and arts groups are looking forward to upcoming sessions and goals.

“Because of efforts of people like you, I became an advocate for the arts,” Hoskins, whose son plays saxophone, said. “They corrected me and steered me back on the right path and I’m so glad.”
“Term limits are a bad deal because in two years, I’m out and in another few years, Hoskins will be out and you’re going to have to do all of this again,” Hoskins said.

“It’s so important that we have a vocal and visual advocacy campaign,” Sharon Beshore, chair of the Missouri Arts Council, said. “We have to really start communicating with the legislature. Thank you for the support from Sens. Hoskins and Holsman and from Kyna and Phil for their leadership.”

MCA has an advocacy day scheduled at the Capitol for February 6, 2019.

Going forward, the MCA hopes to see 60 percent of the non-resident professional athlete and entertainer’s income tax, an estimated $21 million, be appropriated to the Missouri Cultural Trust Fund. Additionally, the group requests the cultural partners be funded at 10 percent as required by statute. MCA does not wish to see an expansion or revision to the distribution formula.