Readiness Plan

South Arts is committed to making business continuity planning a priority in the arts, and encourages all arts organizations to develop and maintain readiness plans to ensure their sustainability. A readiness plan is a combination of documents, processes and training that formulate what your organization will do should the unexpected occur. A readiness plan focuses on protecting your organization’s critical functions through an “all-hazards” approach, so you can resume business quickly after any type or size of disruption. Readiness plans should be comprehensive, updated at least annually, and be comprised of more than just a facility evacuation plan, or regular data backups. Plans should cover all aspects of your operations and assets by identifying how your organization will re-start post interruption. Critical functions can be programs, events, communications, people resources, finances, insurance, technology, exhibits, productions, and any other primary activities.

This year, readiness planning is required for eligibility and your organization will be evaluated on the quality of your readiness planning. Quality includes content, comprehensiveness and currency. Content should include documentation, policies, procedures, and trainings/drills of what you will do if your business is impacted or stopped by a crisis of any type. Comprehensiveness means that the plan addresses all of your critical business functions and all key personnel. Currency means the plan (documentation, procedures and trainings) is updated at least annually.

If you have a readiness plan, you will be asked to describe your plan and how/when you update it. You may contact South Arts staff for more information on readiness planning and/or to review draft descriptions submitted at least four weeks prior to the application deadline.

We do not require you to use any particular resource for developing your plan. For more information on readiness planning, read What is a Readiness Plan? and visit Many state arts agencies are subsidizing arts organizations in their state to use the ArtsReady online tool, and many national service organizations offer discounts. The ArtsReady online tool guides users through developing a customized readiness plan and provides templates and examples of readiness plan elements. Find out if you are eligible for a discount >>

Recent Changes:

  • For FY2015 applications, your organization was eligible for up to 10 bonus points in your application’s score for the quality of your readiness plan.
  • For FY2016 applications, the score for your readiness plan was incorporated into your general scoring (NOT additional bonus points).    
  • Beginning in March 2016, all applicants MUST have a current readiness plan in place to be eligible for funding. The score for your readiness plan will be incorporated into your general scoring. Your readiness plan represents 5% (up to 5 points) of your evaluation. 

This is the tool used by staff to score readiness plans. Download Evaluation Rubric/Matrix (PDF) >>