Artists and arts & cultural organizations play an important role in the long-term recovery efforts of their communities. However, while the robust response from artists and arts organizations is significant and well-documented, these same individuals and nonprofits are also vulnerable to the impact of disasters.
- Visual and performing artists, playwrights and poets, musicians and singer/songwriters, and teaching artists of all disciplines have a long history of creating work both for and with disaster victims.
- Arts and culture activities can help a community process the overwhelming feelings of loss, grief, anger and fear that are associated with major disasters.
- Artists and arts & cultural organizations have a strong relationship with the communities they serve and, therefore, are in a unique position to work in cooperation with philanthropy, local government, social services and education in responding to disasters. The social capital that they provide is an essential ingredient in disaster relief and recovery efforts.
- Artists and arts organizations are often under-capitalized and do more with less as a matter of regular business. As such, when impacted by a disaster, the shockwaves can be severe because their infrastructure and financial footing is compromised.
- Loss of valuable artwork and national treasures, destruction of facilities, damage to supplies and materials, loss of musical instruments and theatrical design elements, and loss of earned revenue due to an interruption of operations can be devastating to artists and arts organizations.