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.

September 4, 2018 by Carmen Graciela Díaz
After a blaze tore through the National Museum of Brazil on Sunday night, officials have said much of Latin America’s largest collection of treasures might be lost, as The Washington Post wrote. Read More...
July 25, 2018 by Carmen Graciela Díaz
Ten months after Hurricane Maria's devastation in Puerto Rico, Lin Manuel Miranda, award-winning composer, lyricist, and actor, his family, and Jeffrey Seller, producer of the Broadway hit Hamilton, have partnered with the Flamboyan Foundation to create the Flamboyan Arts Fund, as an effort to preserve the arts in the island. Read More...
July 23, 2018 by Carmen Graciela Díaz
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announced it will award $3.6 million to 42 cultural organizations as part of its spring 2018 grant cycle. Read More...
April 2, 2018 by Carmen Graciela Díaz
The devastating impact of Hurricane Maria upon Puerto Rico in September 2017 has left despair and many questions on how to rebuild its infrastructure and also its people's future. Philanthropy and the work of nonprofits are a growing part of this ongoing conversation, rethinking the island’s daily dynamics. Read More...
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.)
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.

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.

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.

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: