National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response
Following Tropical Storm Irene last August, I was so thankful for the advice and support that Cornelia Carey at CERF+ provided. Her experience as a responder to the arts community following disasters was invaluable to me as I suddenly found myself thrust into that role with the arts community in Vermont. Among the things she advised was to contact my colleague Malcolm White at the Mississippi Arts Commission and members of his staff who offered a lot of helpful advice from his experiences following Hurricane Katrina.Alex Aldrich, Executive Director, Vermont Arts Council
As part of National Arts Advocacy Day in 2006, CERF+ and Americans for the Arts invited arts leaders who had served in the role of “arts responder” during significant emergencies to participate in a summit meeting in Washington, D.C. Since then, CERF+ has played a leading role in a voluntary task force of national, regional, state and local arts organizations, public agencies, and foundations. The long term goal of the Coalition is to create an organized safety net for artists, and the organizations that serve them, in the United States.
Significant projects realized—collectively or by individual members of the Coalition—include:
- Creation of a Green Paper, “A Vision for Emergency Readiness, Response and Recovery in the Arts Sector” addressing readiness and response needs for arts organizations and artists as part of a set of policy documents compiled by Americans for the Arts to mark that organization’s 50th anniversary.
- Release and promotion by CERF+ of the Studio Protector, the first-ever guide to disaster readiness and response for artists, and development of a destination website www.studioprotector.org.
- Launch by South Arts of "Arts Ready," a first-ever web-based business continuity planning resource for arts organizations.
- Expansion artists’ emergency resource listings on The Actors’ Fund and New York Foundation for the Arts' NYFA Source websites, and addition of a reference section of reports on emergency readiness, response and recovery reports for funders on the Grantmakers in the Arts website.
- Commitment from the National Endowment for the Arts to serve as the primary policy liaison to key federal relief agencies.
Other initiatives now in progress include:
- Research and planning for a new, model, statewide network of community-based art responders in California, in partnership with the San Diego Foundation and the California Arts Council.
- Production of a primer for organizations, agencies, and community foundations on how to manage post-disaster arts relief efforts.