Letter | Martha Prumers: Federal elimination of arts funding will impact Kingman

The board of directors for the Sounds of Kingman sent letters to our U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona Representatives Regina Cobb and Paul Mosley, and State Sen. Sonny Borrelli regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget elimination of all funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Funding these organizations represent a small portion of the federal budget, and these funds support the arts in large and small communities throughout the country.

In Arizona, these funds are administered by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, whose board is appointed by the governor and the nonprofit agency, Arizona Humanities. With grants available to schools and nonprofit organizations, supporting the arts is a vital part of their mission. Providing grants is not their only purpose. Sounds of Kingman, as an all-volunteer nonprofit, has benefited greatly from the organizational support and resources as well.

A particular benefit to the Kingman community in 2017 was a one-time grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts that was used to bring Wyatt Earp, a descendant and a bio ­dramatist, to perform “Wyatt Earp, A Life on the Frontier.” Over 700 people attended. He is scheduled to perform ‘’The Gentleman Doc Holliday” in September of this year.

The continuing program, “Our Time, Our History,” has been supported for six years by AZ Speaks from Arizona Humanities. This joint project of Sounds of Kingman and the Mohave Museum of History and Arts features speakers on topics about Arizona’s people and history.