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.

June 3, 2021 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation just announced Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY), a three-year, $125 million initiative to reactivate New York State’s creative economy and secure the future of its artists, according to the press release.

Read More...
May 12, 2021 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

New York City has established a new $25 million program, the City Artist Corps, to provide funding to artists, musicians, and other performers "to create works across the city, whether through public art, performances, pop-up shows, murals or other community arts projects," The New York Times reported.

Read More...
March 15, 2021 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

On Tuesday, March 23, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will present a webinar centered on how arts organizations can reopen their venues in 2021 with special guest Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health.

Read More...
March 15, 2021 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

In "Keeping in Touch, Building Trust - A Funders Report from the Virtual Front Lines," Jennifer Negron, program officer at The Pinkerton Foundation, shares the importance of building relationships with the people and organizations they help fund and how the organization approached virtual “site visits” in the midst of the pandemic.

Read More...
March 5, 2021 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

Throughout this month, South Arts will be running a series of articles penned by their program participants and grant recipients exploring how their work has changed in response to the pandemic.

Read More...
February 22, 2021 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) has launched a new survey of NYC’s cultural community that will build on DCLA's report from last year, which captured the impact of the earliest days of the pandemic on NYC’s arts and cultural organizations.

Read More...
December 10, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

"We must build up people of color and Indigenous-led philanthropic and movement infrastructure organizations in order to challenge the power structures in this country and invest into the self-determination of the people on the frontlines," said Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective president & CEO, as he recaps the past month of mobilization in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More...
December 9, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

A report from the United States Department of Arts and Culture tackles how "as natural disasters and social emergencies multiply, the need has grown for ethical, creative, and effective artistic response—arts-based work responding to disaster or other community-wide emergency, much of it created in collaboration with community members directly affected."

Read More...
October 20, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) recently announced the launch of the LACE Lightning Fund, a new regional regranting fund. For its inaugural round, the Lightning Fund will provide emergency relief grants for independent visual artists based in Los Angeles County who are experiencing financial hardship due to the severe economic impacts of COVID-19 on artists’ livelihoods and practices, according to the announcement.

Read More...
October 9, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

A recent report from Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy looks at the philanthropic dollars that were distributed for COVID-19 in the first half of 2020.

Read More...