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 4, 2019 by carmen
The Highlander Research and Education Center, a civil rights center in Tennessee founded in 1932, stated that a fire that burned its main office last Friday may have been intentionally set, after a “symbol connected to the white power movement” was found spray-painted in the parking lot next to the rubble of the building, as The New York Times reported. Read More...
March 22, 2019 by carmen
The severe flooding across parts of the Midwest -including South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Missouri- killed at least three people and, according to The New York Times, is "inflicting a devastating toll on farmers and ranchers at a moment when they can least afford it." Read More...
November 16, 2018 by carmen
The deadliest and most devastating wildfire in California history has killed at least 77 people and, according to authorities, more than 990 people are missing in Butte County. In response to these fires, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) has launched the CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund to support strategic medium- to long-term recovery. Read More...
September 27, 2018 by carmen
Northwestern University performance studies professor and department chair Ramón H. Rivera-Servera initiated an outreach initiative, with the support of The Andrew Mellon Foundation, to assist Puerto Rican artists in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Read More...
September 24, 2018 by carmen
An artist's work offers design solutions for coastal cities to adapt to climate change and rising sea levels. Profiled by Food Tank, Mary Mattingly mentions, "We absolutely need more public spaces for foraging and stewardship-building, and we need larger-scale participation." Read More...
September 20, 2018 by carmen
As September 20 marked the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico and, on the other hand, the death toll from Hurricane Florence has climbed to 37, the question of how to help with long-term recovery is key. Recently, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) launched its 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund. Read More...
September 4, 2018 by carmen
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
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
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
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...