By Cornelia Carey, Executive Director, CERF+ –
All of us at CERF+ are heartbroken by the significant losses many in our country have endured from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. More than ever, we are committed to providing artists with information and resources they need to recover and to return to their important work. We also stand at the ready to provide direct relief to artists who work in craft disciplines and suffered career-threatening losses.
Before the first storm hit, we reached out to the communities in harm’s way with our preparedness resources and once the storms hit, we responded with critical recovery resources, including our emergency financial relief.
Throughout the season, we received a high volume of calls and applications for assistance have started to arrive. We know we will be facing the highest demands on our resources in our 30+ year history, so we are developing an action plan that includes: adding temporary staff, extended outreach to identify our community’s needs, working with our national and local partners, and raising the significant amounts of funds we’ll need to be effective in our response. Our goal is to provide timely and meaningful assistance that begins with the artist’s first grant and continues a relationship with them as they go through phases of their recovery.
How can you help?
As “The Artists Safety Net,” we are all part of the effort to respond. Already we’ve seen an increase in donations from our community. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who’ve contributed already. This is the most important and helpful action you can take right now as we try to raise $800,000 in the next few months. We have many steadfast partners to thank for their support as well. Thank you to our friends at Etsy who’ve raised close to $50,000 to support our work. And to Chihuly Garden & Glass, members of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG), participating Seattle area artists, and other Seattle friends for raising close to $15,000 during a recent AACG dinner at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Your support makes such an important difference.
Although these latest storms are behind us, hurricane season lasts until the end of November – and the devastating impacts on peoples’ lives and livelihoods will last even longer. CERF+ will continue our work to help people recover now and keep preparing for the future. Please join us in this effort and stay tuned to our website and e-news for ways you can continue to help.
Republished with permission. This article was originally published on the CERF+ website.