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.

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.

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August 28, 2017 by Monica

From Funders Network:

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August 25, 2017 by Monica

ArtsReady offers resources and recommendations for preparing for Hurricane Harvey:

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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.

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December 1, 2016 by Monica
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has recently published How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development. The book features 28 essays from thought leaders active in arts-based community development as well as 13 case studies of projects funded through the NEA’s creative placemaking program, Our Town. Read More...
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.

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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.

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