The Performing Arts Readiness project was formed in the recognition that performing arts organizations are especially vulnerable to disasters and emergencies which can halt performances, sometimes indefinitely, and can put an organization out of business overnight. The project will include:
- Outreach and community engagement efforts to raise awareness of the value, increase the priority for, and improve understanding of the importance of planning for emergencies among all stakeholders in the performing arts.
- Information resources, models and best practices, online and in-person training, and conference programming specific to the contexts of performing arts organizations to address the need for expanded emergency preparedness knowledge and expertise in the field.
- Online toolkits with resources to build customized preparedness plans to suit the needs and capacities of a diverse range of organizational sizes and situations.
- “Circuit Rider” mentoring programs to provide local community-based training, consulting, and expertise in selected cities and states. Mentoring will support the development of individual institutional emergency plans and area-wide networks and partnerships.
- Grants to provide the resources to build or enhance cooperative emergency networks in cities, states, and regions, and to support the creation of continuity of operations and emergency preparedness plans for individual institutions.
This three-year project was launched in January of 2017 through a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Project Partners bring together knowledge of the performing arts field and expertise in emergency preparedness from both the performing arts and cultural heritage communities. Project Partners include: ArtsReady at South Arts, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts, LYRASIS, Midwest Art Conservation Center, National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness and Emergency Response, National Performance Network, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Northeast Document Conservation Center, Performing Arts Alliance, and the Western States and Territories Preservation Assistance Service.
This implementation project is designed to test ideas and models resulting from a 2016 planning grant, which assessed issues and needs among performing arts organizations regarding emergency plan development. A White Paper describing activities and findings of the planning grant may be found here.
Tom Clareson, the Project Director of Performing Arts Readiness gave the presentation "Open Arms: Expanding the Cultural Emergency Preparedness Community" at the Library of Congress' Preservation Week on April 25, 2017 where he described the development of the project. A video of his presentation may be found here.
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.