News Releases


Exhibit Information: Brad Anderson or Kay Quinn
Phone: 785.309.5776 (day)


In recognition of October as National Arts & and Humanities Month, Salina Arts & Humanities celebrates recent community partnerships that help generate tourism dollars, local tax revenue, and a greater awareness of the positive impact of cultural organizations and the creative arts. Here are a few examples:

*The Salina Art Center Warehouse first developed the Warehouse Community Initiative in 2012 to make this space and its resources more widely available. Events held there since the Initiative’s inception in 2013 include neighborhood parties, open studio time, free-admission workshops, community potluck dinners and open houses. (photo attached)

*The Walk Salina walking tour, launched in September 2013 encourages exercise and learning about the city’s historic downtown. The tour features 12 locations including the United Life Building, The Cozy Inn, Stiefel Theatre, and Masonic Center. Stenciled sidewalk signs feature a QR code for mobile-device use, with details also available at The Walk Salina tour is a partnership between Salina Downtown, Inc. and the Smoky Hill Museum, with funding from the Kansas Humanities Council.

*The Cultural Roundtable, comprised of a dozen arts organizations including the Salina Community Theatre, The Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts, and the Salina Symphony, has provided complimentary tickets and arts information to new audiences in recent years. Incoming KU Medical School families, new physicians, first-year college students, and United Way campaign participants are among the niche populations reached. The Cultural Roundtable and other agencies have forged stronger relationships with civic groups and churches to improve local access to the arts.

*The Sound Garden, installed in May 2013 in Oakdale Park, provides an accessible, fun way for children to experiment with music and rhythm in a dynamic, outdoor setting. The 10-piece installation was a joint project between the friends and family of Janice Pankratz, Salina AMBUCS clubs, and City of Salina departments Parks and Recreation and Arts & Humanities, with support from the Greater Salina Community Foundation. (photo attached)

*Since 2011, SculptureTour Salina has brought sculptural art to downtown Salina. In May 2013, 26 pieces from artists in 13 states were installed. Top sculptures are chosen by public ballot, with the City of Salina purchasing the annual winner for permanent installation in Oakdale Park’s sculpture garden. In the last three years, 12 SculptureTour pieces have been permanently installed on public or private property for the community to see and enjoy.

While a vibrant variety of cultural offerings abound in Salina, including arts enrichment in USD 305 classrooms, a comparatively low percentage of Salinans say that they actually value the arts. In a 2008 cultural planning survey, 52% of Salinans surveyed felt the arts were important compared to a national average of 96%. Since that time, the community-wide Big Ideas cultural plan launched in 2009 has worked to narrow this “arts appreciation” gap and build meaningful connections with potential participants and supporters.
Many still are not aware that those who work in the “creative industries” contribute to the local economy in substantive ways. According to a 2012 Americans for the Arts study based on Dun & Bradstreet business information, Kansas is home to about 6,400 arts-related businesses that employ 23,600 people.
As of 2012, in Saline County there were at least 116 arts-related businesses employing 355 people who invest in the local economy, generate government revenue, and help create tourism and economic development. Among Saline County’s “creative industries” organizations are seven arts schools or arts councils, 26 advertising, design, publishing  or architecture firms, 18 radio, TV or film outlets, four museums, 24 performing-arts organizations, and 37 non-profit visual arts, craft or photography entities.
According to the nationwide Economic Prosperity IV study, the arts generated $135.2 billion in 2010—45% of that directly by arts and cultural groups and 55% ($74.1 billion), in event-related expenditures by audiences . This economic activity generates $22.3 billion in local, state, and federal government revenue each year—almost four times the current annual budget for the state of Kansas. By comparison, government at all levels allocates roughly $4 billion a year to the arts.
Brad Anderson, director of Salina Arts & Humanities, who also chairs the Cultural Roundtable, says “The arts are one of the best ways to reflect our history, humanity and vibrancy as a community. Having a diverse choice of expression through the arts provides energy and resilience to citizens and visitors and provides an excellent demonstration of what it is to be human.”
To find out how to support or get involved in Salina’s cultural arts, including visual art, performing arts, public art, and more, visit On this site, you can access publications including the SA&H annual report or sign up to receive the free weekly Cultural Connections digital calendar that features a concise lineup of arts happenings in Salina and surrounding communities. For more information, contact Salina Arts & Humanities at 785-309-5770 or at

For needed accommodations, please call Kathy Burlew at Salina Arts & Humanities at 785-309-5770 between 8:00 a.m. - Noon and 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  Every effort will be made to accommodate known disabilities.  For material or speech access, please call at least five working days prior to the event.

National Arts and Humanities Month, established in 1993, is celebrated nationally every October. It is designed to encourage individuals, families, and communities to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to help them begin or strengthen lifelong habits of active arts participation.

Salina Arts & Humanities, a department of the City of Salina, has served a unique role in arts advocacy and support since 1966.  The Smoky Hill River Festival, Horizons Grants Program, Smoky Hill Museum, Arts Infusion Program in schools, Community Art & Design, Cultural Connections, and Art a la Carte concert series are among the programs of Salina Arts & Humanities, located at 211 W. Iron Avenue in Salina.