South Arts Receives $500,000 Grant to Support Capacity Building for the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response


Atlanta – South Arts has received a three-year grant totaling $500,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER) which is the only arts readiness, response, and recovery organization in the U.S. serving all artistic disciplines. South Arts serves as the administrative entity for NCAPER. Other member organizations include The Actors Fund, Americans for the Arts, CERF+ The Artists Safety Net, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, LYRASIS, MusiCares, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, National Endowment for the Arts, National Performance Network/Visual Art Network, the New York Foundation for the Arts and 3Arts.

“Not since NCAPER’s founding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has our mission been so essential and our work so imperative,” explained Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, South Arts’ deputy director and co-chair of NCAPER. “In response to back-to-back Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the ongoing wildfires in California, we have been hosting weekly phone calls, involving hundreds of representatives from arts and culture organizations and government leaders. Our fellow NCAPER members provide a sounding board to identify the priority of needs on the ground, offer specific self-help materials and advice, and connect those in need with the appropriate expertise in the field.”

NCAPER’s primary constituency is the existing arts networks in the U.S. (arts service organizations, artist-focused organizations and funders, the National Endowment for the Arts, regional arts organizations, state and local arts councils). As a voluntary network of government agencies, private organizations, and individuals, NCAPER’s mission is to ensure the stability and resilience of the arts and culture sector. This is achieved by encouraging the arts sector to strengthen its readiness and resiliency through planning, networking, and education; to have a coordinated system of communication and information sharing for arts responders through training and ongoing education, and to foster relationships with providers in the emergency services sector for improved disaster service delivery to artists, arts/cultural organizations, and arts businesses.

“Artists and arts and culture organizations are integral to the health and welfare of communities in good times, but even more so in times of difficulty,” said Ted Berger, board member of the Joan Mitchell Foundation and a Coalition Steering Committee member. “While the arts offer people healing and connection after a natural disaster or a human-caused tragedy, they are often left out of recovery efforts and response by the emergency management sector. NCAPER will now be able to strengthen linkages to help bridge this gap more effectively and more continuously.”

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About South Arts

South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization, was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to address the role of the arts in impacting the issues important to our region, and to link the South with the nation and the world through the arts. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.

About the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER)

NCAPER formed in 2006 in response to the significant losses and devastation suffered by artists and creative economies in the wake of 21st century disasters.  As a voluntary task force of national, regional, state and local arts organizations, public agencies, and foundations NCAPER helps ensure that artists, arts/cultural organizations, cultural funders, and arts businesses are able to and can respond effectively to disasters and emergencies affecting the arts and culture sector.  NCAPER believes the Arts Sector is an essential collaborator in broader societal efforts for preparedness, emergency response, and recovery to ensure the resilience of the general community.  For more information, visit https://www.americansforthearts.org/by-program/networks-and-councils/local-arts-network/national-coalition-for-arts-preparedness-and-emergency-response.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.