Emergency Readiness, Response, and Recovery

While artists and arts organizations often play an active role in the healing process after disasters, the frequency of 21st century emergencies has also demonstrated that the arts and culture sector itself is highly vulnerable. Time and time again, creative careers and creative economies have suffered great loss and devastation, which has often included severe damage of unique cultural artifacts and venues. Cultural workers and arts organizations are generally underprepared for emergencies, and underserved when disasters strike.

National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response

The Coalition is a cross-disciplinary, voluntary task force involving over 20 arts organizations (artist/art-focused organizations, arts agencies and arts funders) and individual artists, co-chaired by CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund + Artists’ Emergency Resources) and South Arts. Coalition participants are committed to a combined strategy of resource development, educational empowerment, and public policy advocacy designed to ensure that there is an organized, nationwide safety net for artists and the arts organizations that serve them before, during and after disasters. Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) members active with the Coalition have been meeting at GIA’s annual conference to guide and educate foundations, arts agencies, art service organizations and corporate grantmakers interested in becoming more emergency ready and effective in their emergency relief efforts and grantmaking. Click here for the executive summary of the Coalition’s 2014-2020 plan.

Recommended Resources & Publications

If you are currently working in an area affected by an emergency, the Coalition’s Essential Guidelines for Arts Responders is your first step.

The GIA library includes a number of resources addressing emergency readiness and emergency response and recovery, policy and planning documents, reports from funders about their experiences addressing disasters, and links to a number of helpful websites.

October 19, 2017 by Monica

From artnet news:

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation are teaming up with theater impresario Lin-Manuel Miranda to donate $300,000 to Puerto Rico relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The gift, announced on Tuesday, will aid arts and cultural workers who are struggling in the aftermath of the devastating storm, which rendered an estimated 3.4 million people without power and all but destroyed the island’s energy grid. (As of press time, Maria had claimed at least 48 lives, and more than 80 percent of the power grid is still not functioning.)
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October 16, 2017 by Monica

Creative Sonoma has launched a recovery fund to support members of the creative community affected by the recent wildfires in the area. The funds will be available to individuals for immediate and short-term basic human and art related needs including shelter, medications, art supplies, instruments, and more. The organization has also created an online Creative Recovery Exchange, a peer-to-peer forum where artists and organizations can post their recovery-related needs and others can offer services, and goods to support them.

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October 2, 2017 by Monica

From artnet news:

The unusually devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season rages on with Hurricane Maria now the worst storm to have hit Puerto Rico since 1928. Reports from the island’s art institutions have been few and far between due to island-wide power outages, but the early reports suggest that artists, museums, and galleries—like the rest of the island—have a long road to recovery ahead.

Read the full article on artnet news.

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September 7, 2017 by Monica

Not-for-profit organizations dedicated to serving the Greater Houston arts and cultural sector have joined together to launch the Harvey Arts Recovery Fund.

The Fund will accept tax-deductible donations to provide aid to individual artists who suffered personal and professional losses during Hurricane Harvey and the flooding that followed, as well as financially assist small and mid-sized arts and cultural organizations rebuilding after Harvey.

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September 6, 2017 by Monica

A guest post on the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s blog describes how federal agencies like the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities have been important in supporting disaster recovery:

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August 30, 2017 by Monica

An article in the Houston Chronicle surveys the damage of Hurricane Harvey to cultural institutions in the Houston Theatre District:

The gems of Houston's vaunted arts district have been swamped by floods from nearby Buffalo Bayou and face significant repairs, threatening the fall performance season that would have begun next week.

The Alley Theatre, which completed a $46.5 million renovation just two years ago, appears to have suffered the most damage so far, although arts companies will not be able to fully assess the destruction for a week or more.

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August 28, 2017 by Monica

From Funders Network:

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