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.

April 13, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

The University of Florida, supported by ArtPlace, a ten-year project to position arts and culture as a core sector of community planning and development by supporting creative placemaking across the U.S., released of a COVID-19 Arts Response repository.

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April 8, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced guidelines to distribute funding to nonprofit arts organizations from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act "to preserve jobs and help support organizations forced to close operations due to the spread of COVID-19," according to the announcement.

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April 6, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced recently a new relief program to provide financial assistance to the city’s creative scene and cultural organizations impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, The Chicago Sun Times reported.

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April 4, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

In Denver, a fund at the city’s public funding agency - IMAGINE 2020 Artist Assistance Fund – was modified for a state-wide partnership to offer relief for artists across the state of Colorado, and, in the process, nearly tripled in amount available to individual artists, according to a press release.

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April 1, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

The "literally overnight evaporation of gigs, commissions and sales": that is what the coronavirus crisis, as Next City puts it, has meant for many of America’s nearly 5 million cultural workers.

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March 30, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

The Personal Emergency Relief Fund, a program of Springboard for the Arts, an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists based in Fergus Falls and Saint Paul, Minnesota, has added language to specifically address COVID19-related cancellations.

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March 27, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

Congress gave final approval on Friday, March 27, to a $2 trillion measure that will deliver "direct payments and jobless benefits for individuals, money for states, and a huge bailout fund for businesses" battered by coronavirus crisis, as The New York Times reported.

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March 25, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

London N. Breed, San Francisco mayor, announced an Arts Relief Program to invest in working artists and arts and cultural organizations financially impacted by COVID-19.

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March 23, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

Lisa Pilar Cowan, vice president of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, shared recently how the foundation has started to take action in light of the ongoing impact of the coronavirus "to reflect where we are – off a cliff."

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March 18, 2020 by Carmen Graciela Díaz

COVID-19 is hitting investment portfolios with "a series of plunges in asset values not seen since the market meltdown of 2008," Debra Moniz, director of administration and finance at the Cedar Tree Foundation, writes in Exponent Philanthropy.

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