The floodwater surrounding Alley Theatre in Houston’s theater district after Hurricane Harvey. Photo: Thomas B. Shea.

South Arts Receives $500,000 Grant

South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization based in Atlanta, has received a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support its activites related to the National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER). Founded in 2006, NCAPER is a voluntary task force of national, regional, and local arts agencies and organizations that help artists and cultural institutions during natural disasters and other emergencies that greatly impact the arts and culture sector.

“Not since NCAPER’s founding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has our mission been so essential and our work so imperative,” Mollie Quinlan-Hayes, South Arts’ deputy director and cochair of NCAPER, said. “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 mission is to ensure the stability and the resilience of the arts and culture sector by encouraging institutions to strengthen their readiness and flexibility 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 emergency services providers for improved disaster response to artists, cultural organizations, and arts businesses.

Organizations that are currently members of NCAPER are 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, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Performance Network/Visual Art Network, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and 3Arts.