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How Will FEMA's Changes Benefit Artists and Creatives?

Updated: Jun 7

What You Need to Know

Dear Colleague,

FEMA is making significant and critical changes to better support artists and creatives impacted by disasters! Following Hurricane Katrina and the huge gaps in FEMA support to self-employed individuals that became evident, your colleagues have been working to advocate for these changes, which are now rolling out. In your role as an arts service leader, it's important that you be aware of these changes, and we're asking for your help in rolling them out effectively.

Changes include Simplifying Assistance for Entrepreneurs so entrepreneurs, gig workers and other self-employed individuals can more easily reopen their businesses after a disaster. Previously, FEMA required self-employed individuals to apply for an SBA disaster loan to cover all business losses. As a part of the new regulations, FEMA may provide self-employed survivors with some initial financial support to replace disaster-damaged tools and equipment or other items required for a specific trade or profession.

FEMA is currently promoting these changes and asking for public comments. Those of us in the field have the opportunity to help them finalize the regulations and how they'll be implemented to make sure that artists and creatives receive the federal assistance they're entitled to if they're hit by disaster.

The National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+), and FEMA have created a process for you to learn about the changes, share them with your constituents, and provide feedback before the changes become final.


Ways To Take Action

Participate in a webinar on Monday, March 4, 2024 02:00 PM Eastern Time. Register in advance for this meeting here. It's particularly designed for artist and arts service organizations and funders. Other staff and Board members are also encouraged to attend! You can also tag it on your social media.

Learn about the changes. For a quick overview, here is a one-pager. If you're interested in the deep dive, here's the full information.  

Provide feedback on the changes. After Monday's webinar, we'll be sharing guidelines here on how you can share comments. Please help make sure your artist members and constituents will be well-served when the changes roll out.

Plan to attend and promote two additional webinars for the field:

April 15, 2:00 PM ET: For artists and creatives: what do these changes mean for you, and how can you be prepared to access assistance when needed.

June 10, 2:00 PM ET: This event will be rescheduled. Follow us on for updates!


Contact NCAPER if we can do anything to help you understand the impact of these changes, or to share them with your members and constituents.

To receive news and updates from NCAPER, sign up here.

Thank you!


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