Emergency Preparedness Consultant/Circuit Rider Program

Emergency Preparedness Consultant/Circuit Rider Program 2023-2025

The Performing Arts Readiness (PAR) project, funded by The Mellon Foundation, seeks to improve emergency preparedness among performing arts organizations through advocacy and outreach. The national PAR team works to raise awareness, increase resources, and provide training that addresses the unique needs of the performing arts industry, development of basic tools to assist with planning and advocacy, and provision of sub-grants to support network development and institutional preparedness. As part of Phase 3 of this project, the Emergency Preparedness Consultant/Circuit Rider program will continue. Three EPC/Circuit Riders will work directly with performing arts organizations on a local level, providing expertise, training, consulting and mentoring to staffs and Boards regarding effective emergency preparedness.

Three organizations will be selected, each to host one EPC/circuit rider and receive funding support at the equivalent of a 50% FTE for 18 months between October 1, 2023 and September 30, 2025. The individual will support all aspects of emergency preparedness for their area’s performing arts organizations, including risk and needs assessment, creation/updating of continuity of operations plans (CoOP) and other disaster response plans, on-site training, and response assistance. The EPC/Circuit Rider’s work will occur simultaneously with other PAR project activities and make use of PAR outputs, such as training programs and information resources. Goals, objectives, deliverables and evaluation plans will be defined in an individualized work plan to be created at a training and planning meeting to be scheduled at each host organization.

The circuit rider will work under the day-to-day supervision of a designated staff member of the organizational host. Typical duties of the circuit rider include the following:

  • Communications with performing arts organizations in the area to raise awareness of the need for and value of emergency preparedness, including such activities as: presentations; site visits; conference participation; written communications through social media, listservs, blogs, newsletters, and/or other relevant sources.
  • Provision of training programs for local organizations.
  • Provision of locally relevant information resources to support emergency preparedness for performing arts organizations.
  • Consultations with performing arts organizations about emergency preparedness, formally and informally, in-person and via email and telecommunications. Work may include facilitation of planning meetings, risk assessment, making recommendations about process and/or plan contents and reviewing draft plans.
  • Assistance when possible in local response and recovery efforts when emergencies happen that affect performing arts organizations.
  • Encouragement and support for development and/or engagement of performing arts organizations in local emergency support networks.

Typical duties of the host organization for the EPC/Circuit Rider include the following:

  • Orient the EPC/Circuit Rider to the host organization’s board and staff, key potential partners, and the local performing arts community at large.
  • Provide a workspace for the EPC/Circuit Rider within the host organization, office resources as needed, and a mutually agreed upon work schedule.
  • Administering funds provided by PAR to pay the EPC/Circuit Rider salaries and expenses.
  • Establish vision and goals for the year, and a process for communicating progress, questions, and challenges.
  • Facilitate introductions to performing arts leaders, capitalizing on existing relationships to promote PAR and the services available through the EPC/Circuit Rider for the year. Host PAR meetings and workshops as appropriate.
  • Promote the EPC/Circuit Rider services in host organization materials, events and meetings, as appropriate, and utilize existing resources from the host organization that can help to communicate and educate audiences on preparedness for performing arts organizations.

Performing Arts Readiness staff will provide:

  • Funding for the EPC/Circuit Rider
  • A stipend for EPC/Circuit Rider Travel and support expenses
  • A sample Job Description for the EPC/Circuit Rider
  • Help with definition of work plans and goals for the position
  • Training and Networking opportunities

If your organization is interested in hosting an Emergency Preparedness Consultant/Circuit Rider, please download the complete guidelines and application form here.

For a look at the type of work the PAR Circuit Riders are doing, see Sean Ferguson’s article "Emergency Preparedness in the Arts: A Team Approach." Sean served as a consultant during 2018-2019 for the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, MA.

The 2020-2022 EPC/Circuit Riders host organizations were the Midwest Art Conservation Center, Folk Alliance International, Midwest Art Conservation Center, World Arts West, and the  Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture.

The 2017-2019 EPC/Circuit Riders host organizations were the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA) - Art Conservation, International Association of Blacks in Dance, Houston Arts Alliance, and the Northeast Document Conservation Center.