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Crisis Coaches, National Webinar Series and Disaster Assistance Announcements

NCAPER Selects 2023 Crisis Analysis & Mitigation Coaches Program (CAM) Participants

Raleigh, NC, Olympia, WA, Jackson, MS, and Trenton, NJ are among the communities which will be served by a new Crisis Analysis & Mitigation Coach. Ten arts administrators have been selected for training by NCAPER, the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response, and Air Collaborative. The full list is here.

These leaders will join ten existing coaches in the CAM program, a nationwide network of arts responders trained to coach distressed communities in developing or expanding mitigation efforts using the arts and creativity. According to NCAPER Executive Director Janet Newcomb, “Rather than waiting for another disaster to occur, CAM Network coaches use ‘Blue Sky’ moments to plan readiness and mitigation, to be better prepared for the next disaster, and to build vital community communication networks.” Why are existing relationships key to responding to and garnering resources following a disaster, and to building resiliency for future crises? “Because all disasters are local. Crises happen in a specific place, and immediate help will come from local resources. People must first rely on local community resources, and work locally to build community resilience,” Newcomb says.

CAM focuses on recruiting coaches who currently work within state and local arts agencies and arts service organizations, and CAM participants will build their coaching responsibilities into their job descriptions, as a requirement of the program. Local arts councils usually have the most direct connection with artists in their community, and are aware of smaller and emerging organizations. They have a direct line to get information and connections to these folks, and to connect them with local community and economic leaders. State arts councils and commissions are also critical players in the crisis preparedness and recovery ecology. When a disaster of significant scale occurs, the funding is going to flow through the state government, so the state arts agency needs to be at the table to make sure that resources get to the arts sector.

The ten new CAM participants are:

  • Jeff Aguiar, Theatre & Literature Director, North Carolina Arts Council, Raleigh, NC

  • Mary Eileen Fouratt, Access, Community Arts Program Officer, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Trenton, NJ

  • Leah Hamilton, Adjunct Faculty, College of Fine Arts University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

  • Jessyca Holland, Director, Organization & Community Initiatives, South Arts, Atlanta, GA

  • Kerry Kennedy, Executive Director, Cultural Memory, Washington, DC

  • Marda Kim, Founding Director, EcoArts Connections, Boulder, CO

  • Gretchen Ruiz Ramos, Photographer & Historic Preservation Specialist/HENTF Liaison, Guaynabo, PR

  • Annette Roth, Creative Districts Program Manager, Washington Arts Commission, Olympia, WA

  • Silbrina Wright, Executive Director, Greater Jackson Arts Council, Jackson, MS

  • Ruby Yu, Assistant Professor, Performing Arts Administration graduate program, New York University, New York, NY

CAM is a project of NCAPER and Air Collaborative, through a significant grant from The Emily Tremaine Foundation. These new participants join the existing cohort of 10 which trained in 2022; a third cohort will be recruited in late 2023, for a total of over 30 communities, listed here. This project and NCAPER’s other work is made possible through major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Disasters and emergencies are the largest threat to the careers of artists and the livelihood of arts organizations across the country – yet addressing these issues falls to the bottom of the to-do list when skies are blue and danger is out-of-sight.

Devastating weather-related events are predicted to increase in the coming years. Now is the time to explore readiness, response, and recovery issues in the arts. Ask yourself: Are you or your organization prepared to handle a devastating emergency if it came your way?

The Kentucky Arts Council invites you to participate in a new online series for artists, organizations, and other stakeholders in the arts to learn about the national resources available to the arts field in emergency and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Experts will share information about their organizations and the makeup of the country’s arts emergency network, a cadre of organizations and resources that offer specialized assistance – including grant opportunities – when disaster strikes. Interwoven in the series are stories from artists and organizations whose lives have been deeply affected by emergency situations. The inaugural session, Meet the Field: Resources You Need in Times of Crisis, on April 18, features NCAPER Executive Director Jan Newcomb and Tom Clareson, Project Director of the Performing Arts Readiness project, addressing whom do you call when disasters strike, creating devastation and loss for artists, arts organizations and the arts and culture community? Each interactive session includes presentations with question-and-answer sessions. Registration is free and open to artists and organizations across the country in a call to increase safe and secure conditions for the nation’s arts community.

Disaster Assistance for Arkansas, California and Tennessee Available

Our colleagues at HENTF, the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, share this information for arts and cultural organizations affected by recent severe weather in Arkansas, California and Tennessee. For guidance in navigating the federal disaster assistance system, please download NCAPER's free Arts Field Guide to Federal Disaster Relief, available in both English and Spanish.

On March 31 – April 1, 2023, severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes occurred the state of Tennessee, causing severe damages which led to a major disaster declaration on April 7. Public Assistance (which applies to eligible private nonprofits and government agencies) is available in 10 counties: Cannon, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Lewis, Macon, McNairy, Rutherford, Tipton, and Wayne (please see map for further location and assistance details: Designated Areas |

On March 21, 2023, severe storms and tornadoes occurred in the state of Arkansas, causing severe damages, which led to a major disaster declaration on April 2. Public Assistance (which applies to eligible private nonprofits and government agencies) is available in 3 counties: Pulaski, Lonoke, and Cross (please see map for further location and assistance details: Designated Areas |

On February 21, 2023, a major disaster was declared for severe winter storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that led to a major disaster declaration on April 3 in, California. Public Assistance is available in 4 counties: Calaveras, Monterey, Los Angeles, and Tulare (please see map for further location and assistance details: Designated Areas |

Cultural institutions and arts organizations can call the National Heritage Responders hotline: 202.661.8068

Members of the public who have questions about saving family heirlooms can email the National Heritage Responders at

HENTF’s Save Your Family Treasures guidance is available at

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