“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.