Longtime Wichita art program could be on chopping block

A longtime Wichita art program could experience some serious changes in the near future.

“This room means excitement, energy, interest, camaraderie,” said Mary Sue Foster.

“Oh, it’s like home. It really is,” said Nancy Squire.

Mary Sue Foster and Nancy Squire, 73, are passionate about a lot of things, especially Wichita’s City Art’s fabric classes.

“Weaving is my love. It’s always been my passion and so wherever the looms go, I go,” Squire said. “There is an excitement about finishing something and seeing it and knowing that you have created it and figured out all of the parts of doing it.”

“It means getting something accomplished. I can come down and be absorbed and be in control of what I’m working on and it’s my idea,” Foster said.

Squire and Foster have been weaving for more than 50 years.

“Fifty-four years! I was sitting at a loom, I think Mary Sue was also sitting at a loom at KU except she was in the graduate program and I was in the undergraduate program when Kennedy was shot,” Squire said.

The ladies have been weaving together with the City Arts program for more than 20 years. However, they said that might soon change after getting news this week that the weaving and spinning programs could be on the chopping block.

“Kay (City Arts executive director) informed us that we were not going to have weaving past December,” Squire said.

KSN reached out to the City of Wichita about the possible cancellation of the weaving and spinning program.

John D’Angelo with the City of Wichita, Division of Arts & Cultural Services said the city has not made any decisions on the program, yet. However, D’Angelo said the city is reviewing the program’s financial viability. He said one of the city’s concerns is the amount of space the looms take up in the City Arts building. D’Angelo said the space where the looms sit could be used for other, more popular art classes.

(Read more: KSN TV)