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ArtsReady: Pocket Response Resource

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

It’s National Preparedness month. Have you checked yourself? You can’t plan for everything, but you can be prepared to face the unexpected. The Pocket Response Resource can help you get started. It’s completely free, and it works for all types and sizes of arts and cultural organizations. Download yours today:

As arts and cultural organizations prepare for and undertake safe re-opening steps, the PRR can be a critical element for the safety and security of visitors, artists and crew, staff and volunteers, as well as an organization’s physical assets, during COVID-19 and beyond.

With expertise contributed by arts/culture professionals across the country, the Pocket Response Resource is the first field-specific version of the PReP™ plan, which was created by the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) in 2006. It becomes available online on September 1, the beginning of National Preparedness Month.

“This PRR is the newest addition to a collection of resources offered by the Performing Arts Readiness project,” said Tom Clareson, Project Director of PAR. “Grants, in-person risk assessments and trainings, case studies and sample emergency plans have been increasing the readiness of arts organizations for the past three years, and the PRR is an important addition to this collection.” The PRR and instructions are available for free download at and dPlan is a program of the Northeast Document Conservation Center, based in Andover, MA, and ArtsReady is a program of South Arts, based in Atlanta, GA.

“Through the Performing Arts Readiness project, two existing but outdated online planning tools – ArtsReady, and dPlan – are being upgraded and expanded into one: dPlan/ArtsReady 2.0. The Pocket Response Resource is the first phase to be rolled out,” said Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, ArtsReady Director. “The PRR is a document which prompts organizations to collect critical contact information on one side, and critical action steps such as evacuation, crisis communications, situational assessment, and prioritizing assets to be protected or salvaged on the other. It neatly folds down into a credit card-sized document piece for all staff, crew and volunteers to carry on their person – or have available to view on a device – so they have immediate access to information they’ll need in the first minutes and hours of any type of emergency.”  

While the Resource was primarily envisioned for performing arts organizations, it also responds to the operations of other types of arts organizations, collecting institutions, museums, archives, and libraries. The PRR is not a substitute for a readiness/disaster plan, but it is the best way for organizations to begin an in-house conversation and process around crisis preparedness.

The Performing Arts Readiness Project is supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to LYRASIS, a leading member-based non-profit organization serving libraries, archives, and museums, to implement a project with nine partner organizations that strengthens emergency preparedness within performing arts organizations. Robert Miller, CEO of LYRASIS, says of the Pocket Response Resource, “As a nonprofit that is committed to helping cultural heritage organizations maintain vital programs for their communities, I’m proud that we were able to help create the PRR and strengthen its impact on the performing arts community. This work evolved from a long history of community building and disaster preparedness expertise within LYRASIS and will enable performing arts organizations to continue their excellent work, even in a challenging environment.”

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, International Association of Blacks in Dance, and Western Arts Alliance.

The Performing Arts Readiness Project launched in 2017 to increase and support emergency plan development by performing arts organizations. Highlights of the 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 provides 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.

For more information, or to get involved in the project, please contact Tom Clareson, Performing Arts Readiness Project Director, Sign up for future announcements about the project at



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