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.

The GIA library includes a number of resources addressing emergency readiness and emergency response and recovery, policy and planning documents, reports from funders about their experiences addressing disasters, and links to a number of helpful websites.

September 18, 2015 by Steve

Wildfires have devastated various parts of California in recent days, and artists and arts communities are among those affected. The California Arts Council has assembled some information that may be useful to those impacted, as well as others who would like to help and need guidance as to how.

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May 29, 2015 by Steve

Record rainfalls, flooding and tornadoes continue to plague the country’s mid-section. And your GIA peers who are involved in the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response are offering expertise and assistance to artists and cultural organizations affected by the extreme weather.

Theresa Scanlan of American for the Arts has been in touch many of the local arts agencies in Texas and Oklahoma to assess how and where aid is needed.

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May 27, 2015 by Steve

This message is going out to CERF+'s contacts in the areas of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas affected by flooding recently, as well as statewide arts organizations. We hope you and your neighbors are safe and have been able to avoid loss from the flooding.

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October 9, 2014 by Steve

Organized by GIA’s Support for Individual Artists Committee and the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response, this preconference is an examination of the readiness, response, and emergency support systems for artists. It will be held on Sunday, October 12 at the GIA 2014 Conference in Houston.

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September 21, 2014 by Steve

New York Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl and Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito have announced the launch of CultureAID (“Culture Active in Disasters”), a response and recovery network committed to strengthening New York City’s cultural community before, during, and after disasters.

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March 3, 2014 by admin
A national research study commissioned by CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund + Artists’ Emergency Resources), and conducted by Dreezen and Associates with grant support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is now available. Sustaining Careers: A National Study of the Status of U.S. Read More...
June 14, 2013 by admin
I’m sitting with sixteen artists around a table filled with Russian food. As we introduce ourselves, a poet says, “I’d like to share my work with you all later.” “Now, now! Go ahead!” the others respond. The poet nods, stares down at her plate, taking a few seconds to compose herself, and begins: I don’t wanna see you hangin’ round my placeif I do I’ll hit you square in ya ugly facewit’ straight white vinegar and tea tree oil’cuz just a trace-a you and my blood begins to boilBlack mold.Black mold. Read More...
June 14, 2013 by admin
Lives are snowflakes — unique in detail, forming patterns we have seen before, but as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There’s not a chance you’d mistake one for another, after a minute’s close inspection.)  —  Neil Gaiman, American Gods Read More...
June 14, 2013 by admin
Immediately following Hurricane Sandy, the Andy Warhol, Lambent, and Robert Rauschenberg Foundations (“the primary funders”) approached the New York Foundation for the Arts to administer a fund to provide grants to individual artists in all disciplines from Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. In addition to the substantial and catalytic support from the three foundations, NYFA also raised additional funds for this project through further donations from our generous individual and institutional supporters and collaborators. Read More...