New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are home to some of America’s greatest musical, artistic, and literary talents and treasures. Many of these artists and cultural institutions have been devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Tens of thousands of artists, arts administrators and educators have been dislocated, their instruments, their studios and archives lost. Theaters, museums, libraries, and concert halls have been severely damaged or destroyed.
Restoring the cultural heritage of the Gulf Coast is an essential part of rebirth for these communities. As we band together to offer humanitarian relief to communities affected by natural disasters—whether in the United States, Pakistan, or Central America—it is important to offer help to repair the human spirit and nourish its cultural life. Individuals and organizations from across the United States are heeding the call to help.
U.S. Department of State
The Department of State in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center will tour musical groups affected by Hurricane Katrina to selected countries overseas beginning in late October.
Alliance of Artists Communities
The Alliance of Artists Communities has created a page on their website which includes information on relief funds created for artists in the affected areas.
American Association of Museums
The AAM has comprehensive information about museums, zoos, science centers, etc. in the region. They list recovery information on federal/regional disaster and emergency relief organizations and information on the status of museums, science centers, zoos, historical sites, etc. in the region.
Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts has established an Emergency Relief Fund as well as a clearinghouse of cultural relief activities listed on their website.
American Library Association (ALA)
ALA is compiling news coverage on the impact to libraries in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The Louisiana Library Disaster Relief Fund has been established to assist school, public, and academic library restoration efforts in Southeastern Louisiana.
American Symphony Orchestra League
The League has established a Gulf Coast Orchestra Relief Fund to help support those orchestras that were most affected by the storm—including the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gulf Coast Symphony (Biloxi), the Meridian Symphony Orchestra, and the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston launched a trust, Katrina Artists Trust, for visual artists affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Trust will provide grants to help artists restore their ability to work and re-launch careers.
Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF)
CERF has created a Disaster Recovery Message Board on its web site for craft artists who need help with financial support, supplies, equipment, or places to stay or work. CERF offers small grants, no interest loans, access to resources, waivers and discounts on booth fees, and donations of craft supplies and equipment.
The national dance community is offering assistance, classes and work for stranded dancers.
Heritage Preservation has the Hurricane Resource Page that includes information on disaster relief assistance for museums, libraries, and archivists.
Institute of Museum and Library Services
IMLS is working in coordination with other federal and state agencies as well as with partner service organizations--libraries and museums to best determine the agency's next steps to assist with the disaster recovery. IMLS has extended its upcoming grant deadline to enable museums in the affected area to take advantage of funding opportunities to care for their collections.
National Endowment for the Arts
The NEA is working with state, regional, and local arts agencies in the affected states to develop a relief plan. The NEA has made the publication, Before and After Disasters: Federal Funding for Cultural Institutions available via their website.
National Endowment for the Humanities
Emergency grants are available to libraries, museums, colleges, universities, and other cultural and historical institutions in Gulf Coast areas of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Affected institutions can apply for grants of up to $30,000 to preserve books, records, manuscripts, art, and cultural artifacts damaged by the hurricane and the flooding that followed.
National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust has established the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund. Donations will support assessment teams, assist small businesses through the National Main Street Center, and disperse critical grant monies to organizations on the ground in affected communities.
Society of American Archivists (SAA)
SAA is creating a Hurricane Response Volunteer List. The Society of Southwest Archivists and the Society of American Archivists have established a fund to provide grants to archival repositories affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Louisiana Division of the Arts
The Division of the Arts is developing a comprehensive Information Management System to track native artists around the state and nationally. The Louisiana Partnership for the Arts Katrina Displacement Contact Database has been added to the LPA website and its purpose is to provide current contact information for Louisiana arts organizations.
Mississippi Arts Commission
The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) is gathering state news of damage to artistic, heritage and cultural treasures, as well as that incurred by artists and arts organizations.
New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)
Offers information and resources for artists. NYFA maintains a national online directory of programs and organizations offering emergency relief for individual artists.
Southeastern Museum Conference (SEMC)
SEMC is coordinating assistance from the AIC Emergency Preparedness, Response, & Recovery Committee and the Southeast Regional Conservation Association. SEMC is assessing needs; identifying available freezer space, storage facilities, and triage areas; and receiving donations of goods, services, and funds for distributions.
Southern Arts Federation
The Southern Arts Federation has established an Emergency Relief Fund to assist arts organizations and artists residing in those Gulf Coast communities most devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
The Actors’ Fund is assisting our colleagues in the entertainment community who are affected by Hurricane Katrina by providing assistance for shelter, food, clothing, travel, and initial resettlement support as well as additional critical services as requested.
Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Inc.
The foundation is accepting applications for emergency artist residencies.
Arts Council of New Orleans
The Arts Council of New Orleans has established a relief fund to address the immediate and long-term needs of artists and arts organizations in the Gulf Coast region affected by Hurricane Katrina so that they may continue basic subsistence during this transitional time.
Jazz at Lincoln Center
JALC has created a relief fund called the Higher Ground Relief Fund to assist jazz musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Fund will be administered and distributed through The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, a non-profit organization that forms partnerships with philanthropists, nonprofit organizations and other community.
Preservation Hall has established the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund.
The Recording Academy has set up a special fund to specifically aid musicians and industry folks impacted by Katrina. Assistance will include replacing instruments and recording studio equipment, as well as health care, housing and basic needs. Contributions can be made on their website.
Santa Fe Art Institute
Has re-established its Emergency Respite Residency for Gulf Coast artists.