Meg Blum
Director of Marketing & Communications, Lyrasis

Atlanta, GA - April 11, 2023 - Lyrasis, a mission-driven, community-led nonprofit serving libraries, museums and cultural heritage organizations, is pleased to announce that they have been awarded a $1.5M grant from the Mellon Foundation to continue and expand the Performing Arts Readiness (PAR) project. PAR, initially funded in 2017 through a $2.5 million grant from Mellon, was created to strengthen emergency preparedness within performing arts organizations across the United States.

PAR, now in its seventh year, is a community initiative from Lyrasis that brings together leading arts and culture organizations to develop and implement creative programs to increase knowledge, ability, and capacity around emergency preparedness and response. Through its work with BIPOC-led and rural organizations via networking and disaster planning grants, and publication of case studies, PAR centers its efforts on helping to creatively respond to the effects of the pandemic, racial and economic inequality, climate change concerns and other causes of crises and disasters. Key partners on the PAR Steering Committee include the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER), the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA), Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA), The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC), National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN), New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), South Arts, and Western Art Alliance (WAA). 

This new round of funding allows PAR to continue its important partnerships as well as allow for the development of two new programs: Archiving Site Visits and Event/Festival Safety Audits. These new programs grew from the evolving needs of performing arts organizations, especially as they continue to adapt to new community needs in light of the global pandemic. Archiving site visits from PAR will send archives specialists directly to arts organizations to recommend and help deploy safety and preservation improvements for their business and programmatic archives. The new Event and Festival Safety Audits are an extension of The Art of Mass Gatherings (AOMG), which was piloted in phase 2 of the PAR project, but now has a new level of urgency given a collective return to public, in-person events. These new audits will send emergency management professionals to meet with event producers, tour the festival grounds, and point out areas for improvement in safety, sustainability, accessibility, and community engagement.  

“Thanks to the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, PAR has been able to support performing arts organizations across the nation for seven years. By offering disaster preparedness information, and sustainability tools and training, we are proud to contribute to the health and long-term success of these vital and vibrant organizations. Even in times of disaster, the show must go on. PAR helps ensure that is possible,” said Tom Clareson, Project Director of Performing Arts Readiness.

Along with these new service offerings, PAR will continue to offer its existing programming, including the Circuit Rider Program, AOMG, free educational webinars, disaster planning grants, network grants and lectures to arts administration programs to connect with students. This extension of PAR programs will run for three years, beginning January 1, 2023 and is expected to conclude December 31, 2025. 

Image of PAR Partner logos 2023

About Lyrasis

Lyrasis is a community-supported non-profit whose mission is to support enduring access to our shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage for archives, libraries, museums and research communities. With more than 80 years of experience, Lyrasis offers technologies, services and special programs designed by and for knowledge professionals and brings together more than 2000 collections-holding organizations worldwide for collaboration, innovation and scale.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at 

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.

About ICA

ICA, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is the nation’s oldest non-profit regional art conservation center. We protect, preserve, and enrich our shared heritage of art and material culture through conservation, advocacy, and education. As an educational nonprofit, ICA works with arts, culture, education, history, neighborhood, public, and private partners to make our communities stronger and more successful by educating about material culture and sharing the means to preserve works of art and other cultural treasures for people today and for future generation.

About The International Association of Blacks in Dance

For 30 years, The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) has preserved and promoted dance by people of African ancestry or origin and has assisted and increased opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring. IABD serves a diverse, national and international membership of agents and managers, dance companies and studios, educators and educational institutions, individual artists, researchers, and supporters of the Dance field.

About Midwest Art Conservation Center

The Midwest Art Conservation Center is a non-profit organization 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.

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 collaborate with other sectors at national, regional, and local levels to strengthen recovery efforts in the larger community.

About National Performance Network

The National Performance Network (NPN) is a vibrant network of artists and organizations committed to advancing racial and cultural justice through the arts. NPN contributes to a more just and equitable world by building artists’ power; advancing racial and cultural justice in the arts; fostering relationship-building and reciprocity between individuals, institutions and communities; and working towards systems change in arts and philanthropy.

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 and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. 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 believes the arts are central to every element we value most in a modern society including: human understanding; cultural and civic pride; strong communities; excellent schools; lifelong learning; creative expression; and economic opportunity. To learn more about the Council, please visit

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

About South Arts

South Arts works in partnership with the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. South Arts is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, member states, foundations, businesses, and individuals.

About Western Arts Alliance (WAA)

Western Arts Alliance (WAA) is a membership association of touring and performing arts professionals engaged in advancing performing arts presenting in the West by connecting and serving members and the field at large. WAA’s initiatives facilitate important field-wide dialogue and engagement, bringing together the performing arts community to pursue their shared goal of programming live performance. Recognized as a leader in promoting social equity in the arts profession, WAA’s pacesetting leadership fosters professional development, mentoring, community-building, and networking through its comprehensive slate of year-round programs. Since 1967, WAA’s annual booking and touring conference has created a space for presenters, artists, agents, and practitioners from the West and beyond to spark connections, discover and learn, strengthen ties, and generate business opportunities. Learn more at