- April 14, 2020 - By Lauren Hainley, Program Manager, Disaster Services,Houston Arts Alliance:
CARES Act Provides Support for Artists and Arts Organizations
Two weeks ago, Congress passed the historic CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act), a $2 trillion relief measure designed to provide resources and supports in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic confronting the United States and the world.
Touching virtually every segment of the US economy, the CARES Act provides three main opportunities for artists and arts organizations – the Paycheck Protection Program through the US Small Business Administration (SBA); an increase in unemployment benefits that includes greater eligibility for self-employed and contract workers; and grant funds administered by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
What It Is:
The CARES Act creates a forgivable loan program sponsored by the SBA. The program is open to:
- any small business that meets SBA’s size standards,
- any business, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organization, or Tribal business concern with less than 500 employees.
- any business with a NAICS Code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs less than 500 per location,
- As of, April 10, 2020, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons are also eligible to apply.
Loans are made by banks and other community lenders and are designed to provide an incentive to keep employees on the payroll. Under the program, SBA will forgive loans, provided all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the funds are used to meet payroll costs, rent, mortgage interest or utility costs. Due to the overwhelming number of applications for this program, Congress is currently considering $250 billion in additional support for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Houston Arts Alliance has put together an FAQ and collected resources to help arts organizations better under the SBA process. It is available at https://ready.haatx.com/covid-19#/sba/
For more information from SBA including additional supports available at this time, check out: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp
What To Do:
Organizations should apply through any existing SBA lenders or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. First, Organizations should consult with their current banking institution as to whether it is participating in the program, or use this list to identify an approved lender.
The SBA posted a sample application for seeking a PPP loan, along with instructions for completing and submitting the application. Given that loans will be given on a first come, first served basis until the funds are spent, it is important that organizations move quickly to have the application and required documentation in place. The SBA has significantly simplified the process and estimates that the application, including gathering of information, will take less than 10 minutes to complete.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits
What It Is:
The CARES Act created three new unemployment insurance programs that are fully funded by the Federal Government. The new programs are:
- A $600 boost in weekly unemployment compensation,
- extended unemployment compensation for 13 weeks after an individual exhausts regular state unemployment compensation,
- and unemployment compensation for the first week of unemployment in states that have a statutory one- week waiting period and waive it.
Importantly, the CARES Act also provides emergency unemployment assistance to people who have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits and to self-employed individuals.
In addition, States may not charge employers for the additional unemployment benefits so as not to impact an employer’s experience rating and future UI tax rate. Many, but not all, states have also taken steps to ensure that all coronavirus-related UI claims will not be charged to an employer’s experience rating, or to spread out that experience over the employer pool such that employers are not incentivized to discourage employees from applying for UI.
What To Do:
As each state administers unemployment insurance benefits through state-specific guidelines, applicants should consult the appropriate agency in their state to determine eligibility, payment amounts and procedures to apply for benefits. A list of state unemployment agencies is available here: https://www.lb.com/binaries/content/assets/pdfs/associates/covid-19/health-and-benefits-tools-and-resources/50-state-unemployment-compensation-contact-information.pdf
NEA Grants to Non-Profit Arts Organizations
What It Is:
The NEA will provide funds to nonprofit arts organizations across the country to help endure the economic hardships caused by the forced closure of their operations due to the spread of COVID-19.
With many arts organizations facing severe economic hardship as a result of the pandemic, the NEA’s goal is to grant funds as quickly as possible. Because of this, the NEA has restricted its grant applications to past NEA awardees in order to ensure that eligible organizations:
- Provide a rational and manageable pool of potential applicants, which is important for a program that has to be implemented rapidly.
- Have been vetted through the Arts Endowment’s rigorous review system by panels of experts in the field, the National Council on the Arts, and the Arts Endowment Chairman.
- Due to that process, represent a diverse pool of applicants capable of carrying out projects that meet the Congressionally mandated criteria of artistic excellence and merit.
- Represent all arts disciplines and fields, organizational sizes, and wide geographic reach.
Limited to one application per organization, the grant program is intended to help save jobs in the arts sector and keep the doors open to the thousands of organizations that add value to America’s economy and the creative life of our communities. Eligible entities are organizations that:
- Have received an Arts Endowment award within the past four years (beginning with awards that were made in FY 2017 as indicated by an award letter that is dated on or after October 1, 2016, and an award number that begins with "17 - "). When using FY 2020 as the basis for eligibility, an organization's application must have been approved by the National Council on the Arts and the Arts Endowment Chairman no later than the March 2020 meeting of the National Council on the Arts.
- Meet the National Endowment for the Arts’ "Legal Requirements" including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application. (All organizations must apply directly on their own behalf. Applications through a fiscal sponsor/agent are not allowed. See more information on fiscal sponsors/agents.)
- Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all Arts Endowment award(s) previously received.
Grants will be no cost share/nonmatching and will be awarded a fixed amount of $50,000 for directs funds or a requested amount for subgranting programs by designated local arts agencies. Grant funds awarded under these projects may only be utilized for:
- Salary support, full or partial, for one or more positions that are critical to an organization’s artistic mission.
- Fees for artists and/or contractual personnel to maintain or expand the period during which such persons would be engaged.
- Facilities costs such as rent and utilities.
What To Do:
There is a very short timeline on the application process for these funds. Information for this grant must be submitted to grants.gov by April 22, 2020 with additional materials submitted through the Applicant Portal between April 27 -May 4, 2020. To learn more about these grant funds, check out: https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/CARES/award-information
NEH Grants to Non-Profit Organizations
What It Is:
NEH received $75 million in supplemental funding to assist cultural institutions and humanists affected by the coronavirus as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act economic stabilization plan appropriated by Congress and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.
Approximately 40 percent of the appropriation, or $30 million, will go directly to the 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils, based on the standard population formula used for their annual appropriation. The remaining 60 percent, or $45 million, will support at-risk humanities positions and projects at museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, colleges and universities, and other cultural nonprofits that have been financially impacted by the coronavirus. All NEH supplemental funds must be obligated to projects by September 30, 2021.
What To Do:
As of April 13, 2020, the NEH has not announce the guidelines for their CARES Act funding opportunities. However, they have made a commitment to announce more information by April 30, 2020.
Who is the Houston Arts Alliance?
Since Hurricane Harvey swept through our arts and culture industry in 2017, the Houston arts community has been working to understand how we can coordinate and prepare for greater resilience--and get back to work faster. Houston Arts Alliance has built a disaster services program to advocate for the inclusion of artists and nonprofits in the work of the emergency management and public assistance industries.
It was because of the work done over the last 18 months that we were able to act swiftly when COVID-19 began to shut down arts programs, and we saw earned and contributed income for the arts community plummet. In the wake of the pandemic HAA has taken three major steps to help our community.
- In partnership with twelve other arts service organizations in the region, including the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, we have been able to raise over $50,000 to give to individual artists and other arts professionals who are struggling with basic human needs, such as housing and food security.
- We have created http://ready.haatx.com/covid-19 where we publish a curated list of resources for our community and create guides for navigating the Small Business Association, NEA grants, and unemployment from the Texas Workforce commission.
- We are coordinating with our partner service organizations on all parts of communicating to the community. This includes all organizations publicizing and endorsing the same damage assessment forms, coordinating email communication dates, and sharing work across the collective so each member can use its assets to create a strong collective response.
Houston Arts Alliance and the Houston arts community are committed to the economic and quality of life value the arts bring to our community, and we are continuing to provide assistance to the artists, arts organizations, and arts workers of our region.
- March 11, 2020 - From our colleagues at the Performing Arts Alliance, "COVID-19, Concert Cancellations, and Congressional Action":
"Community by community, the impact of COVID-19 is variable and rapidly changing. As Congress and the Administration consider new forms of federal economic assistance that may be targeted or widespread, artists and performing arts groups can join with others in the arts and nonprofit sector to speak up to ensure that relief will meet all community needs... (more information is here.)"
- Our colleagues at Americans for the Arts have posted the article, "Arts and Culture Sector Can Prepare for the Coronavirus in the United States":
"Like most of you, Americans for the Arts has been watching the breaking news about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and we are seeing inquiries coming in from the field and through our national service organization colleagues. While gathering and sharing pertinent information, we are also working to understand the long-term effect on arts and culture activities from performance to festivals, touring artists, and school field trips... more information here"
- from our colleagues at ArtsReady:
Preparing for Potential Impact of the Coronavirus: Are you ready for a temporary closure?
In Asia and Europe, public gatherings including performances, museums and festivals have been cancelled and shuttered to help limit the spread of the Coronavirus.
While the spread and impact of the virus here in the U.S. is not yet known, you should have a plan in the event that, in the interest of public health, your organization needs to delay or cancel events or temporary close.
Preparing Your Facility Now
Put additional hand-sanitizing stations in the lobby and theatre spaces and bathrooms, and make wipes available for people to use on armrests, if the surface is wood or metal.
If you do need to temporarily close, refer to What to Take When you Evacuate. This checklist suggests what your staff should plan to take with them if you have to leave your facility on short notice, to be able to continue to work and communicate.
Ensure you have an up-to-date facility shut-down protocol. Individuals should be aware of their specific responsibilities and processes, including data backup, safe shutdown of IT and other equipment; securing/protecting any assets that require regular attention or are of value (including cash, blank checks, and sensitive artwork); and have a clear protocol to sweep the facility and ensure everyone is out before locking it down.
Supporting Your Staff and Volunteers
Inform all staff and volunteers to limit contact with audience members - look at the tickets rather than taking them and handing them back. Review cancellation and work stoppage policies with staff during a special meeting. Test your contact tree and other means of communication for all stakeholders including board members.
Stay updated on the status in your local area. Identify your local and regional health department personnel and websites to make sure you have the most up-to-date knowledge of the spread of the disease locally. From Heather Noonan at the League of American Orchestras:
- In addition to a central hub of updated information, the CDC has posted guidance for businesses and employers: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), February 2020 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- While not yet available, CDC also says it is: Providing planning guides for COVID-19 that households, community- and faith-based organizations, event planners of mass gatherings, and public health communicators can use.
- CDC encourages organizations to stay in contact with state and local health agencies for guidance specific to your location.
- On a bigger scale, here’s the WHO post on mass gatherings: Key planning recommendations for Mass Gatherings in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak - World Health Organization
Do you have a contact tree for your staff/volunteers/artists? Should you need to change an event or temporarily shut down your facility, you need a tree so that each individual is reached with the news, and must respond back to confirm they know the organization’s status. Group texts can be particularly effective.
Your staff, volunteers and artists will be concerned about protecting their own families. Encourage them to make sure your home/family preparedness kit is up to date. FEMA has a great resource page with suggested supplies. Many of these recommended items will help them if they need to shelter in place – that is, can’t exit their home. https://www.ready.gov/kit
Our friends at AgilityRecovery.com offer free tools to address the possibility of the Coronavirus affecting your organization; you’ll need to enter your name and email address to download their Coronavirus checklist, and a tabletop exercise to walk your team through a realistic scenario.
Communicating with Audiences and Stakeholders
Make sure you have a current and clear event cancellation/closure policy – will you refund tickets, reschedule, or not? Does everyone on staff know your policy? How will you be in touch with your audience? Here’s advice from NCAPER’s Executive Director Jan Newcomb: “Review your ticket refund policy and resend it to all your patrons – you may decideto give credit to people who cancel up to 2 days before their ticketed performance. You may want to extend that policy to include all other performances during a limited timeframe so that sick people stay home. You should prepare a financial impact statement before you do so, so you know your liability.”
Review all performance contracts to understand your financial liability if you decide to cancel performances. Prepare a financial liability statement for the board.
If you have questions or additional suggestions for your colleagues, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be safe! Team ArtsReady
- November 1, 2019 - From our colleagues at CERF+:
In 2019, more than 5,600+ fire incidents have burned 245,000+ acres in California. The Kincade Fire is 45% contained and has burned 76,825 acres – making this California’s biggest fire of the year.
In Southern California, firefighters are fighting the Getty Fire that has consumed over 745 acres on a hillside in West Los Angeles. A number of additional large fires are also tearing through the state, including the Tick Fire, Caples Fire, Oak Fire, and Palisades Fire.
In the past five years, CERF+ has provided more than 50 artists from California with close to $200,000 in emergency financial assistance and established a specific California Fund to help support these efforts.
If you would like to donate to the California Fund, simply follow this link to the CERF+ secure online giving page and select please use my gift to help California artists working in craft disciplines from the drop-down menu. It's easy to do and only takes a minute. Your contribution will make a real and lasting difference in the lives of the artists impacted by these fires and other emergencies.
- July 12, 2019 - As the Gulf Coast braces for Tropical Storm Barry, now is the time to make certain that you are prepared. The National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness & Emergency Response provides links to a myriad of resources made available through its partners here.
- March 25, 2018 - from the Associated Press: Experts warn Midwest flood risk may persist for months "Even as floodwaters receded in hard-hit places in in the Midwest, experts warned Saturday that with plenty of snow still left to melt in northern states, the relief may only be temporary. Rainfall and some snowmelt spurred flooding in recent weeks that’s blamed in three deaths so far, with two men in Nebraska missing for more than a week. Thousands were forced from their homes in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, as water broke through or poured over levees in the region. The damage is estimated at $3 billion, and that figure is expected to rise..." Read the full article here.
- November 14, 2018 - from CERF+: "As we continue to hear about the impact of the wildfires in California, CERF+ is reaching out to artists and arts organizations in affected communities to provide emergency relief and useful recovery resources." More information is here.
- October 25, 2018 update, Hurricane Florence response, Federal disaster declaration for North Carolina
Announcement of Public Assistance Applicant Briefings, FEMA-4393-DR-NC
Hurricane Florence, Disaster Declaration Date: 9/14/2018, Declared Incident Period: September 7- September 29, 2018
The State of North Carolina (NC) has received a federal disaster declaration for Public Assistance (PA) Category A (Debris Removal) and Category B (Emergency Protective Measures) for 28 counties in eastern and central NC. The declaration date is September 14, 2018, with an event incident period of September 7, 2018- September 29, 2018. The first step in the process is for all potentially eligible Public Assistance (PA) Applicants (e.g. local governments, state agencies, private non-profits (PNPs), tribal organizations) in declared counties to attend an Applicant Briefing at one of the dates/locations listed below. At the briefing, potential applicants will receive an overview of the Public Assistance program/process, any event-specific details, and instructions on how to submit the “Request for Public Assistance (RPA),” including PNP documents, the online PA Grants Portal.
The new PA Grants Portal will offer the Applicant the opportunity to review, manage, sign (e-signature), submit documentation for project worksheets, and provide full transparency of project status. The RPA is the application required to become an eligible applicant in order to receive reimbursement for eligible response and recovery costs incurred as a direct result of Hurricane Florence. For those unable to attend the Applicant Briefing, they may inquire about the PA Grants Portal by emailing email@example.com. Houses of Worship (HOWs) owned or operated by private nonprofits (PNPs) organizations may now be eligible applicants for financial assistance for repair or replacement of facilities damaged or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Florence. Upon receipt of the RPA and FEMA’s approval of the application, FEMA will then begin conducting Exploratory Calls with each Applicant to begin discussing damages and schedule a Recovery Scoping Meeting (RSM) to continue to identify all eligible damages and costs for each Applicant and begin project formulation for reimbursement.
Please be advised that this list will be up-dated as the Counties are available for the Briefings. Thank you for assisting with the outreach. Please plan to attend an Applicant Briefing in your county to ensure that each applicant is accounted for in that county.
Thursday, 10/25/2018 @ 6:00PM-8:00PM, Bladen: 5853 US 701N, Building D, Room 1, Elizabethtown, NC, Area 5 Coordinator: Robin Lorenzen State PA: Mary Glasscock
Thursday, 10/25/2018 @ 6:00PM-8:00PM, Hoke: City Hall, 315 N. Main Street, Raeford, NC, Area 5 Coordinator: Robin Lorenzen, State PA: Andy Innis
Monday, 10/29/2018 @ 2:00PM-4:00PM, Ashe: Ashe County Court House, 150 Government Circle, Suite 2400, Jefferson, NC, Area 12 Coordinator: Tiawana Ramsey, State PA: Andy Innis
Monday, 10/29/2018 @ 2:00PM-4:00PM, Alleghany: Conference Rm, Ground Floor, 90 S. Main Street, Sparta, NC, Area 11 Coordinator: Karen Hamby, State PA: Mary Glasscock
Tuesday, 10/30/2018 @ 10:00AM-12:00PM, Yancey: Yancey County EM Office, 15 East Boulevard, Burnsville, NC 28714, Area 12 Coordinator: Tiawana Ramsey, State PA: Andy Innis
Tuesday, 10/30/2018 @ 10:00AM-12:00PM, Union: Governmental Center/ Commissioners’ Board Room, 500 N. Main Street, Monroe, NC, Area 13 Coordinator: Eric Wiseman, State PA: Mary Glasscock
Tuesday, 10/30/2018 @ 10:30AM-12:30PM, Granville: Granville County EMC, Person: 5662 Cornwall Road, Oxford, NC, Area 6 Coordinator: Tim Byers, State PA: Charles Edwards
Wednesday, 10/31/2018 @ 2:00PM-4:00PM, Stanly: County Commons, Commissioners Meeting Room, 1000 N. 1st Street, Albemarle, NC, Area 13 Coordinator: Eric Wiseman, State PA: Mary Glasscock
Thursday: 11/1/2018 @ 1:00PM-3:00PM, Dare: Emergency Operations Center, 370 Airport Road, Manteo, NC, Aea 1 Coordinator: Brian Parnell, State PA: Any Innis
Thursday, 11/1/2018 @ 3:00PM-5:000PM, Cabarrus: County Governmental Center, 2nd floor, Purpose Room, 65 Church Street, Concord, NC, Area 11 Coordinator: Karen Hamby, State PA: Mary Glasscock
- September 11, 2018: Here are some links and tips for preparing for Hurricane Florence:
- For tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane, go to https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
- Download FEMA fact sheets “After the Flood: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures” and “Salvaging Water-Damaged Family Valuables and Heirlooms,” available at https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/113297.
- Familiarize yourself with the disaster declaration process in case one is declared for your state, https://www.fema.gov/disaster-declaration-process.
- Track the storm via the National Hurricane Center, https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.
- Monitor information via GEMA, http://www.gema.ga.gov/.
- September 10, 2018 - From our colleagues at ArtsReady:
Hurricane Florence is approaching the US East Coast, and will likely have landfall Thursday or Friday. Residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia should anticipate impact and prepare accordingly. If you have an ArtsReady/readiness plan, we hope that triggering it into action provides you with the ability to prepare for the storm. If not, we encourage you to take a few basic steps to prepare your office/venue/studio for the potential impact before departing for your personal preparation - unless you are under an evacuation order, in which case you should follow the instructions of local/state officials immediately.
If you aren’t in the hurricane’s path, please use this time to take a look at your own readiness planning in the event of a future emergency. Visit ArtsReady to start or build upon your readiness plan; sign up for free webinars on a variety of readiness and disaster planning offered through the Performing Arts Readiness project; and sign up to get regular information on grants, trainings and programs to improve your organization’s readiness and resiliency (much of this project’s content is relevant to arts organizations and artists of all disciplines).
Be Prepared! Please use and share the following resources to ensure you are ready:
A few additional tips for arts organizations:
- Assign a readiness/emergency leader for your organization through whom all communications and information should be relayed. Decide who makes the decision about suspending operations/events, and how those decisions are communicated.
- Ensure you can carry out banking activity remotely, and that staff can work remotely if your offices/facility are inaccessible.
- If practical, de-install exhibits that may be threatened by weather or water and remove to a safer location.
- Secure outdoor sculptures, furniture, bike racks, signage, etc. – anything that can become a projectile in strong winds.
- Move costumes, scenery, instruments, valuable equipment and collections that are in areas vulnerable to flooding (i.e., the floor, the basement) or susceptible to rain (near windows or under roofs) out of harm’s way.
Emergency Management Offices:
- North Carolina Division of Emergency Management
- South Carolina Emergency Management Division
- Virginia Department of Emergency Management
General Weather Event Resources:
- Hurricane Preparedness Checklist - AgilityRecovery walks through the safe closure of your facility, as well as critical steps during and after the storm.
- FEMA’s ready.gov website has check lists and resources for before, during and after a hurricane as well as a disaster preparedness and response mobile app.
- The American Red Cross has a suite of well-designed apps to cover a wide range of emergencies, including hurricanes. Each app covers what to do if you are in the middle of an emergency, next steps, and preparedness tips.
If your facility is impacted, there are a number of resources to assist you:
And more resources are listed at https://www.lyrasis.org/LYRASIS%20Digital/Pages/Preservation%20Services/Disaster%20Resources/Response-and-Recovery.aspx
It’s important for ArtsReady and our colleagues who help the arts community with readiness, response and recovery to know about the impact of such events on artists and arts organizations. Please be in touch with us when it is safe to do so to share your situation. - Team ArtsReady
- March 22, 2018
The March 2018 bombing incidents in Austin, TX has highlighted the vulnerability of everyone, including Performing Arts organizations, to such threats. Bob Winters (firstname.lastname@example.org), Protecting Security Advisor with the US Dept. of Homeland Security, has provided the following resources:
How to React Quickly and Safely to Suspicious Packages and Bomb Threats:
Bomb threats are a rare but serious event. How quickly and safely you react can save lives, including your own:
- DO report suspicious activity, unattended packages, or a potential bomb threat to authorities immediately, follow instructions, and evacuate the area
- DO provide as much detail as possible to authorities
- DO seek distance and cover – they are the best means to reduce the risk of injury
- DO NOT approach or inspect suspicious items or unattended packages
- DO NOT congregate near the incident scene – it may impede first responders and there could be a risk of secondary attacks
Be Prepared for IEDs and Play a Role in Prevention!
Below are counter-IED resources appropriate for individuals, families, travelers, educational and religious institutions, and businesses, as well as law enforcement, emergency services, or security professionals, which provide insight to help increase preparedness and reduce risks associated with potential bombings.
Bomb Threat Guidance:
- Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program (BMAP) Video
- Bomb Threat Checklist
- Bomb Threat Stand-Off Card
- Bomb Threat Management Guidance Quad-Fold
- Bomb Threat Management Video
- Bombing Prevention Lanyard Cards (Lined Version)
- Bombing Prevention Lanyard Cards (Unlined Version)
- (NEW) Sports and Entertainment Venues Bombing Prevention Solutions Portfolio (The best source of comprehensive counter-IED products, tools, training and resources)
- FBI-DHS Private Sector Advisory - Ammonium Nitrate- & Urea-Based Fertilizers Poster
- FBI-DHS Private Sector Advisory - Hazardous Chemicals Poster
- FBI-DHS Private Sector Advisory - Hazardous Chemicals Card
- FBI-DHS Private Sector Advisory - Peroxide Products Poster
- FBI-DHS Private Sector Advisory - Peroxide Products Card
- FBI-DHS Private Sector Advisory - Suspicious Purchasing Behavior Awareness Poster
- FBI-DHS Private Sector Advisory - Suspicious Purchasing Behavior Awareness Card
- FBI-DHS Private Sector Advisory - Retail and Shopping Center Advisory
- Mail and Suspicious Package Guidance Poster
These web-based courses provide general awareness-level, counter-IED information to a broad audience via an online virtual training experience with a live instructor, using Adobe Connect through the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). These courses are designed for small group instruction of 15 to 25 participants.
A FEMA Student ID (FEMA SID) is required to participate in all VILT OBP course offerings. To obtain a FEMA SID, visit FEMA’s website to apply.
To view the VILT training schedule and register for a course, please visit the VILT website.
- Homemade Explosive (HME) and Precursor Awareness (AWR-338)
- Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Construction and Classification Course (AWR-333)
- Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Explosive Effects Mitigation Course (AWR-337)
- Introduction to the Terrorist Attack Cycle Course (AWR-334)
- Protective Measures Awareness Course (AWR-340)
- Response to Suspicious Behaviors and Items Course (AWR-335)
Homemade Explosives and Precursor Chemicals Awareness for Public Safety Computer Based Training (AWR-349)
This one-hour, awareness-level, computer-based course, available through TRIPwire, educates law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and other public safety personnel about homemade explosives—commonly referred to as HME—the precursor chemicals that are used to manufacture HME, and actions to take if HME precursor chemicals or equipment are thought to be present during a routine service call.
Improvised Explosive Device Awareness and Safety Procedures Computer Based Training (AWR-341)
This one-hour, awareness-level, computer-based course, available on TRIPwire, provides foundational knowledge concerning improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and proper safety precautions and procedures for reacting and responding to unattended and suspicious items.
If you are a law enforcement, emergency services, or security professional, much more information is available through free registration to the full TRIPwire website. Inside you will find valuable resources and much more detail on IED threats and counter-IED activities.
Find more information on the DHS Office for Bombing Prevention at https://www.dhs.gov/obp
- December 22, 2017
Our thoughts go out to our colleagues who have been impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as the wildfires in the Western U.S.
Performing Arts Readiness (PAR) project staff and partner organizations are monitoring damage and response efforts. We are in contact with national, state, local, and territorial leaders, and regional and national arts organizations to assess the impact to performing arts facilities, companies and artists.
We will post updates on recovery efforts on the PAR Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as the PAR website as we receive them. For performing arts and cultural heritage organizations needing recovery assistance, please contact PAR Project Director Tom Clareson via email at email@example.com or via phone or text at 614-439-1796 and he will put you in contact with the PAR Partner(s) or other organizations who can provide you with the most appropriate assistance.
The Atlantic has published an account of recent emergency response training at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. If your performing arts organization would like to host a similar training, please contact the Performing Arts Readiness project at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some useful resources for recovery from current emergencies:
- Americans for the Arts is gathering information about Hurricane relief efforts on a web page that is continually updated as more information is available.
- The Harvey Arts Recovery supports the disaster recovery needs of the Greater Houston arts, culture, and creative community and provides a links to a variety of resources.
- The Creative Sonoma Recovery Fund has been established to provide relief to Sonoma County artists and creative residents who have been directly affected by wildfires in California.
- The Actor’s Fund Emergency Financial Assistance provides emergency assistance for performing arts and entertainment professionals.
- The Jazz Foundation of America provides emergency care including help with rent/mortgage payments, instrument repair/replacement, basic utilities for career jazz, blues, or roots musicians. For those in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria, please call (212) 245-3999.
- Fresh Arts has compiled a list of emergency resources for artists that includes local, state-wide and national grant/funding opportunities for artists, general funding assistance, resource guides, events, and volunteer opportunities.
- The Recording Academy’s Musicares Emergency Financial Assistance program provides funds for those working in the music industry struggling with financial, medical or personal crises.
LYRASIS is a non-profit membership organization that supports enduring access to shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage through leadership in open technologies, content services, digital solutions and collaboration with archives, libraries, museums and knowledge communities worldwide. Learn more at lyrasis.org.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at mellon.org.
ArtsReady at South Arts
ArtsReady, an online emergency preparedness service by and for arts/cultural nonprofits, provides arts organizations with customized business continuity plans for post-crisis sustainability. ArtsReady is a national initiative of South Arts. South Arts, one of the nation’s six regional arts organizations, strengthens the South through advancing excellence in the arts, connecting the arts to key state and national policies and nurturing a vibrant quality of life. South Arts works in partnership with the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The ArtsReady Library and online planning tool are at www.artsready.org.
Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts
The Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) is a nonprofit conservation facility specializing in the treatment of works on paper, photographs, and books through conservation and state-of-the-art digital imaging services. Founded in 1977, CCAHA serves nonprofit cultural institutions, private individuals, and other collecting organizations. To learn more, please visit www.ccaha.org.
Midwest Art Conservation Center
The Midwest Art Conservation Center is a non-profit regional center for the preservation and conservation of art and artifacts, providing treatment, education, and training for museums, historical societies, libraries, other cultural institutions, artists, and the public. To learn more, visit www.preserveart.org.
National Performance Network
The National Performance Network, including the Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN), is a group of diverse cultural organizers and artists, working to create meaningful partnerships and to provide leadership that enables the practice and public experience of the arts in the United States. For additional information, visit www.npnweb.org.
National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response
The Coalition is a voluntary network of government agencies, private organizations and individuals dedicated to building and sustaining an organized safety net of services, tools and information for those involved in the arts and culture sector – artists, arts/culture organizations and arts businesses – before, during, and after disasters and emergencies. The Coalition also collaborates with other sectors at national, regional, and local levels to strengthen recovery efforts in the larger community. Learn more here.
New Jersey State Council on the Arts
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about the Council, please visit www.artscouncil.nj.gov.
Northeast Document Conservation Center
Founded in 1973, the nonprofit Northeast Document Conservation Center serves museums, libraries, archives, and individuals nationwide. NEDCC provides conservation treatment for book and paper collections as well as digital imaging, audio preservation, assessments, consultations, training, and disaster assistance. To learn more, visit www.nedcc.org.
Performing Arts Alliance
The Performing Arts Alliance is the national policy advocate, leadership forum, and learning network for America’s nonprofit performing arts organizations, artists, and allies. Through legislative and grassroots action, PAA advocates for national policies that recognize, enhance, and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America. Coalition members work together towards a vision of a nation where the diverse ecology of the performing arts is deeply-valued and supported, adequately and equitably resourced, and where participation is accessible to all. For more information, please visit: www.ThePerformingArtsAlliance.org.
Western States and Territories Preservation Assistance Service
WESTPAS is an NEH-funded preservation information, education, and training program designed to extend the access lives of heritage collections, including performing arts libraries and archives, throughout the 14 U.S. Western and Pacific states and territories. WESTPAS also supports collaborative disaster planning and assistance. More information is available at www.westpas.org.