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Hurricane Relief for the Arts community

Posted on: Oct 5, 2017
 

 

In the wake of destruction and displacement caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, local and state arts leaders in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, regional foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as experienced arts leaders in disaster relief from across the nation are quickly working together to create support structures and resources for artists and arts organizations affected by these hurricanes. Artists are in an especially vulnerable position following these events, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Red Cross do not have mechanisms in place following a disaster to address the specific needs of artists, who use their homes for professional studio/office space.

Americans for the Arts has re-issued its Essential Guidelines for Arts Responders Organizing in the Aftermath of Disaster toolkit, which notes “for some artists and arts organizations, their home is their workplace and their professional life is inextricably connected with their personal one.” Therefore, areas of priority for artists include resources for housing and work space.

We also know that the arts are an essential component of healing after natural disasters. Arts Action Fund member and Vice-President of the National Organization for the Arts in Health Naj Wycoff notes that creative arts therapies are an especially helpful tool in supporting individuals recovering after a natural disaster. In addition, arts therapists can be instrumental in using the arts to create a unifying narrative that helps to rebuild communities that have been torn apart by disasters. They can also be very helpful in assisting First Responders deal with the devastation that they are witnessing firsthand. As the situation in Houston and surrounding areas progress, these artists who provide such essential services will need additional support.

The National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Houston Endowment for the Arts, the Houston Mayor’s Office, Houston CultureWorks, the Houston Arts Alliance, and other national, state, and local groups are working together to coordinate resources to best serve the affected artist community and centralize donations for relief efforts in Texas. These groups have created a website with comprehensive information for affected artists and arts organization regarding filling out the FEMA application and applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. In addition, the website directs visitors to a donation page, where people can make a tax-decutable donation. Visit harveyartsrecovery.org for more information. In addition, you can refer to the below list for other resources. 

Similarly in Florida, United Arts of Central Florida, the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, the Florida Keys Council on the Arts, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, and other national, state, and local groups are working together to coordinate resources for artists and arts organizations affected by hurricane Irma. The Irma Arts Fund has been created to help streamline donations for artists that have been affected. Visit https://app.mobilecause.com/form/8I6ZPA for more information. In addition, you can refer to the below list for other resources. 

Resources and more information:

This was originally posted on August 30, 2017, and has been updated as of October 5, 2017.