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KC residents ask city council to "save the arts" in proposed budget

Posted at 12:02 PM, Feb 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-22 18:46:51-05

KANSAS CITY — More than a hundred Kansas City residents packed the auditorium of Northgate Middle School to give feedback on the city's proposed 2020-2021 budget, which was released last week.

"The potholes have been an issue that has been going on for several years now," Kansas City resident Dario Fontana said.

In addition to street improvements, Fontana said he would like to see the city allocate money to public safety. The issue is a personal one because in 2017 Fontana said he was assaulted at gunpoint, walking in the middle of the day.

"We have a high volume of crime in the city and so we need money allocated to that as well," he said.

Many residents voiced displeasure with the current proposal, asking the mayor and city council to "save the arts."

Under the proposed budget, the Office of Creative and Cultural Services would be eliminated. The budget would also cut the Kansas City Film Office's budget, which currently receives $175,000. Additionally, the proposal would defund the city's film development program credited for bringing shows like 'American Ninja Warrior' and 'Queer Eye' to Kansas City.

"Kansas City without the arts is like barbecue without the sauce. Save the sauce," one resident proclaimed as he was met with applause.

The city is hosting other budget hearings on:

  • Saturday, Feb 29, 9-11 a.m. at the Southeast Community Center, 4201 E 63rd Street
  • Tuesday, March 3, 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. at the KC Health Department, 2400 Troost Ave