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.

Posted on 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.)

Read the full article from artnet news.

Posted on 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.

More information and disaster recovery resources from Creative Sonoma

Posted on 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.

Posted on 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.

The Fund will be housed at the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), a 501(c)(3) public charity, and support the disaster recovery needs of the Greater Houston arts, culture, and creative community in the 10-county region of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Chambers, Austin and San Jacinto.

Read the full announcement.

Posted on 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:

When museums, libraries, and performing arts venues are at their most vulnerable, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are essential responders with a responsibility to preserve and protect these invaluable resources. Where collections have been damaged by hurricanes, earthquakes and other disasters, these federal agencies can—and do—respond quickly. These funders work in collaboration with other key federal and national organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Smithsonian Institution when disasters strike.

Read the full post.

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Monica

From artnet:

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced plans to award $1 million in emergency grants to libraries, museums, colleges, universities, and other cultural and historical hit by Hurricane Harvey, which has devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana with record-breaking rainfall and flooding.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) also released a statement from chairman Jane Chu in response to the storm, on August 29, noting that “the National Endowment for the Arts is prepared to direct additional funds to these state arts agencies for re-granting to affected organizations, as we have done in the past.”

Read the full article from artnet.

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Monica

From HuffPost:

Along with being home to one of the most diverse populations in America, Houston and its surrounding areas also house a stunning accumulation of modern, contemporary and community-based art. How did museums throughout Houston and its surrounding area prepare for the Category 4 hurricane and the catastrophic flooding in its wake? And how are they dealing with, or preparing to deal with, its effects?

HuffPost reached out to a variety of art institutions in the area, who graciously took the time to describe how they readied themselves for Harvey and what they plan to do after the storm subsides.

Read the full article on HuffPost.

Posted on 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.

Read the full article from the Houston Chronicle.

Posted on August 28, 2017 by Monica

From Funders Network:

Hurricane Harvey, the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005, has led to catastrophic and deadly flooding across an enormous swath of Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Harvey in Houston and across the region.

We invite you to join Tuesday’s webinar [Aug. 29 at 3:30 p.m. ET], Hurricane Harvey Recovery: How Donors Can Help, organized by The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) and the Council on Foundations. The webinar will offer information on how funders can assist in the immediate aftermath of Harvey, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm—as well as with what will likely be a protracted and costly recovery for the region.

Learn more from Funders Network.

Posted on August 25, 2017 by Monica

ArtsReady offers resources and recommendations for preparing for Hurricane Harvey:

Hurricane Harvey is anticipated to be the strongest storm to hit coastal Texas in decades, and may cause damage in many areas. If you have an ArtsReady/readiness plan, we hope that triggering it into action provides you with the ability to prepare for the storm. If not, we encourage you to take a few basic steps to prepare your office/venue/studio for the potential impact before departing for your personal preparation – unless you are under an evacuation order, in which case you should follow the instructions of local/state officials immediately. If you aren’t in the hurricane’s path, please use this time to take a look at your own readiness planning in the event of a future emergency.

View resources and recommendations from ArtsReady.

Posted on August 8, 2017 by Monica

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture has released a guide to arts-based work responding to disasters or other community-wide emergencies. The guide is intended for artists, emergency management agencies, funders, policy-makers, and communities responding to natural and civil emergencies with the intent to help communities organize and respond with care, compassion, and impact.

Read Art Became the Oxygen: A Guide to Artistic Response.

Posted on October 11, 2016 by Monica

From The Advocate:

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge is offering Creative Relief grants to professional artists and nonprofit arts and culture organizations that were adversely affected by the flood.

Individuals and organizations with a history of arts programming whose sites, materials, equipment or collections were damaged in the recent flooding may apply.

Read the full article.

Posted on October 6, 2016 by Monica

South Arts has published a list of resources for artists and arts venues in preparation for Hurricane Matthew in the southeastern United States. Resources include AgilityRecovery’s hurricane readiness checklist, the CERF+ Studio Protector online guide, and resources from FEMA and American Red Cross.

Read more

Posted on June 7, 2016 by Monica

National Endowment for the Arts has released a summary of proceedings from a convening entitled “Readiness and Resiliency: Advancing a Collaborative and National Strategy for the Arts in Times of Emergencies” held on April 19, 2016 in Washington, DC. The NEA convened a cross-sector panel of experts working in the arena of arts and emergency readiness to outline strategies to advance the work.

Read the report.

Posted on October 8, 2015 by SuJ'n

The National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response has recently updated the Essential Guidelines for Arts Responders Organizing in the Aftermath of Disaster: How to Help and Support your Local Artists, Arts-related Small Businesses, and Arts Organizations. This is a primer for state and local arts councils, arts service organizations, community foundations, and other non-profit groups to effectively assist artists and arts organizations impacted by Hurricane Joaquin and other disasters across the country.

For additional resources on arts recovery and response, please visit ArtsReady's website.

Posted on September 18, 2015 by Steve

Wildfires have devastated various parts of California in recent days, and artists and arts communities are among those affected. The California Arts Council has assembled some information that may be useful to those impacted, as well as others who would like to help and need guidance as to how. Many useful resources are also available in the Emergency Readiness, Response, and Recovery group on the GIA website.

Posted on May 29, 2015 by Steve

Record rainfalls, flooding and tornadoes continue to plague the country’s mid-section. And your GIA peers who are involved in the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response are offering expertise and assistance to artists and cultural organizations affected by the extreme weather.

Theresa Scanlan of American for the Arts has been in touch many of the local arts agencies in Texas and Oklahoma to assess how and where aid is needed.

CERF+ is reaching out to artists in the craft disciplines. You can find out more at craftemergency.org.

The Actors Fund has offered emergency financial assistance to performing artists and entertainment professionals in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Details are available at actorsfund.org.

If GIA members have additional information to share about their relief and/or recovery efforts in the storm areas, please let the National Coalition know and they’ll use their networks to get the word out. You can send information to NCAPER Consultant/...

Posted on May 27, 2015 by Steve

This message is going out to CERF+'s contacts in the areas of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas affected by flooding recently, as well as statewide arts organizations. We hope you and your neighbors are safe and have been able to avoid loss from the flooding.

CERF+ would like to make sure that any professional artist working in a craft discipline seriously affected by the disaster is aware of the emergency relief assistance available from CERF+. If, as an artist, you have suffered loss, please contact them at relief@craftemergency.org. or call (802) 229-2306.

If, as an arts organization representative, you know of artists in the disaster areas, or plan to correspond with your artist constituents in the near future, please pass this information on to the folks at CERF+. If there are organizations that directly work with artists in your community that you think CERF+ should be aware of, please send along their contact information.

Posted on October 8, 2014 by Steve

Organized by GIA’s Support for Individual Artists Committee and the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response, this preconference is an examination of the readiness, response, and emergency support systems for artists. It will be held on Sunday, October 12 at the GIA 2014 Conference in Houston.