A Message from GIA on the Increased Frequency of Emergencies and Disasters

The national board of directors and team of Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) extends our fellowship to all those impacted by our nation’s increasing emergencies and disasters.

GIA believes that extreme environmental disasters, caused by man-made climate-change, are the results of our putting profits before people and of our refusing to honor indigenous approaches to the environment. These climate disasters have inordinately high impact on indigenous communities and on other low-income communities and on communities of color. Unfortunately, this includes the coronavirus pandemic, which started from a virus that jumped from animals to humans in the face of habitat loss caused by human activity.

GIA believes that arts and culture are what make us fully human. We believe that no effort to prevent or respond to any disaster is complete on its own but must be executed in concert with other strategies.  GIA believes that arts and culture is uniquely capable of humanizing issues, such as climate change, and humanizing one another.  These are among the key reasons that GIA encourages the full capitalizations of artists and arts organizations, embraces racial equity as a central value in all our work, and supports art at the intersection of other issue areas. 

We cannot prevent or respond to emergencies and disasters without the embrace of the full humanity of all peoples, including valuing their cultural approaches to one another, to health and to the environment.  GIA believes that the valuing of our full humanity is the power of arts and culture.   

GIA would like to share a link to our colleagues NCAPER: National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness & Emergency Response  and its resources as well as to NCAPER Director Jan Newcomb at jnewcomb@ncaper.org. We also want to share with you a link to CERF+ and to Cornelia Carey Cornelia at cornelia@craftemergency.org.