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When you’re under pressure to lead your organization in the midst of a crisis, to develop an emergency grants program, or to get up to speed quickly on best practices, you don’t need to invent the wheel. NCAPER’s library of free tools and resources provides current information and guidance on the most pressing readiness and response needs of arts leaders.

An Arts Field Guide to Federal Disaster Relief  helps demystify the FEMA and SBA disaster assistance process for artists and nonprofit arts organizations. The Field Guide was created to help demystify federal disaster relief for the arts and culture sector by helping artists and arts organizations see what’s available, understand clearly what isn’t available, and decide if pursuing federal aid is a good use of time. The top programs of use to artists and arts organizations have been selected for inclusion. Available in English and Spanish


The Arts Organizations at a Crossroads: Protecting Your Assets Toolkit offers guidance on making critical decisions about your arts or cultural organization’s structure and resilience and how to preserve your assets whether you are growing, stable, contracting or suspending operations. The Toolkit focuses specifically on the organization’s overall structure and assets, rather than programming, to help you control your own destiny. 


While communities invest heavily in creative placemaking, incorporating the arts and unique cultural assets into development and tourism planning, few have considered how to protect those assets in a proactive and thorough way. The Cultural Placekeeping Guide: How to Create a Network for Local Emergency Action introduces a network-building approach, called “cultural placekeeping,” for safeguarding and strengthening local arts and culture communities. Organizing a self-help emergency action network to supplement and coordinate with the existing disaster management system is a way to foster community cohesion and connectedness—important generally and invaluable when a crisis strikes. 


You know you need a readiness plan for your organization – but how do you start? dPlan/ArtsReady is an online emergency preparedness and response tool for arts and cultural organizations, regardless of size, scope, or discipline. You’ll be guided through key questions about your organization and then guided through the process of identifying your risks and developing a backup plan for your critical functions. Waivers for the annual subscription are available!


Essential Guidelines for Arts Responders: If your community has been struck by a disaster affecting an appreciable swath of the arts community, you may want to act but aren’t sure how to quickly create a funding program or coordinate with other local funders and providers. Read or skim this primer and use it to help you determine whether and how your organization or agency can best address the needs of your community post-disaster. It outlines recommendations, provides models, offers options, and identifies key resources.

NCAPER Recommended Principles for Arts Funding in the COVID-19 Crisis and In Other Crises: During times of emergency, artists, cultural workers, and arts and culture organizations are especially vulnerable. That's why NCAPER has developed guiding principles based on their experience in serving these groups, including during the current coronavirus crisis. These principles not only help those in need but also assist funders in providing the necessary support.4 years.

Preparedness Tips for Performing Arts and Literary Artists: A comprehensive guide designed to assist performing and literary groups in safeguarding their practices and properties. It covers a wide range of topics, including risk assessment, securing assets, preparing for various types of emergencies, and creating effective emergency plans. The guide emphasizes the importance of understanding and mitigating risks related to weather, economic factors, cybersecurity, terrorism, power outages, and environmental concerns. Additionally, it provides practical advice on hardening structures, understanding contracts and insurance, and maintaining essential documents and emergency power supplies.

Connecting Constituents with Federal Assistance for the Arts and Humanities: provides an overview of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities, emphasizing its role in federal support for arts and humanities through its three agencies: the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). It details the fiscal year 2023 appropriations for these agencies, totaling $708.8 million, and outlines the various grant programs each agency administers to support libraries, museums, arts, and humanities projects nationwide. Additionally, it mentions resources for grant seekers and the impact of these grants on community engagement, professional development in the arts and humanities sectors, and the preservation of cultural heritage.


Partner Resources 


CERF+ The Artists Safety Net is readiness, relief + resilience for studio artists, ensuring that they are as protected as the work they create. The Studio Protector, Emergency Relief Grants and Get Ready Grants are among offerings for studio artists (many of these resources are relevant to studio artists in disciplines in addition to craft). 


The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund) serves everyone in entertainment. ECF fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.

MusiCares provides a safety net of critical health and welfare services to the music community in three key areas: Mental Health & Addiction Recovery Services; Health Services; and Human Services. 


NYFA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, offers two national artist emergency grant programs. The Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 to professional dancers in need, who have a dire financial emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for recent unexpected medical, dental, and mental health emergencies to artists in financial need who are creating in the visual arts, film/video/electronic/digital arts, and choreography.


The Performing Arts Readiness project offers grants, webinars, case studies, and The Art of Mass Gatherings initiative which provides emergency preparedness training for festivals and outdoor events. Much of what PAR offers is relevant to all disciplines! 

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