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Meg Blum
Associate Director of Marketing & Communications
800.999.8558, ext. 2951

"The Show Must Go On" - Performing Arts Emergency Preparedness Initiative Receives Implementation Funding

March 15, 2017, Atlanta, GA - The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded a $2,500,000 grant to LYRASIS, a leading member-based non-profit organization serving libraries, archives, and museums, to implement a project with nine partner organizations that will strengthen emergency preparedness within performing arts organizations.
The three-year grant will support a variety of programs increasing knowledge, ability, and readiness among performing arts organizations to plan and execute emergency recovery plans.
The Project Partners have expertise in emergency preparedness from both the performing arts and cultural heritage communities, with representatives from: 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.
Robert Miller, CEO of LYRASIS, says of the initiative: "We're excited for the opportunity to work directly with performing arts organizations, especially as they are key resources within their communities, and within the cultural heritage field. LYRASIS has long been committed to serving the cultural heritage community and I am happy that our deep experience with disaster preparedness can help us in leading a project that will serve this new audience."

"A performing arts organization that's prepared in the event of a disaster would be prepared to protect its contributions to its community, such as educational partnerships, diverse cultural offerings, and local economic support. We're pleased to serve as a partner in this important national effort to help our field stand strong in the event of an emergency," noted Cristine Davis, General Manager of the Performing Arts Alliance. 

This implementation project will test ideas and models developed from a 2016 planning study which assessed issues and needs among performing arts organizations in regard to emergency plan development. Highlights of this new, nationwide project include:

  • Outreach and community engagement efforts to raise awareness of the value of, increase the priority for, and improve understanding of the importance of planning for emergencies.
  • The provision of 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.
  • Readily-accessible and easy-to-use templates and enhanced online tools that enable customized planning, from basic to advanced levels, to suit the emergency preparedness needs of a diverse range of organizational sizes and situations.
  • A "Circuit Rider" mentoring program which will provide local community-based training, consulting, and expertise in selected cities and states, for the development of individual institutional emergency plans and area-wide networks and partnerships.
  • Grants that 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 response plans for individual institutions.

"Performing arts organizations play a uniquely important role in community vitality and expression, and yet they can also be uniquely vulnerable in an emergency. With this new partnership, we will help ensure that performing arts venues and performing companies are more resilient and sustainable through the resources that will be updated, created, and delivered through this project," said Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, ArtsReady Director at South Arts.

As each of the services is introduced, the Project Partners will provide information to the performing arts and cultural heritage communities.  For more information, or to get involved in the project, please contact Project Director Tom Clareson, LYRASIS' Senior Consultant for Digital & Preservation Services, tom.clareson@lyrasis.org Sign up for future announcements about the project here.

LYRASIS ( www.lyrasis.org ), a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization, partners with member libraries, archives and museums to create, access and manage information with an emphasis on digital content, while building and sustaining collaboration, enhancing operations and technology, and increasing buying power.
About 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.
About 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
About 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
About 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
About 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.     
About 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 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,  www.giarts.org
About 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
About 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.
About 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.
About the 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.