Statement from TAM Executive Director, Billy Fong
Like many of you, we have been anxiously watching television and monitoring social media platforms for more information on the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. TAM recently held its inaugural fundraising conference and I was reminded of the fact that we are part of an amazing community that rallies together to share stories and information on how we can rise above challenges.
With few exceptions, most museum staff and volunteers are just now gaining access the affected area to assess damage to their museums. Based on the large number of calls and emails I have received, I am not alone in my desire to do everything possible to assist our friends and colleagues. This message is intended to update you with as much information as we currently have, but more importantly, how you can help in the weeks ahead. Our contacts in the flooded areas want to make sure that you know that your help will be even more appreciated once the immediate storm situation is over. Unfortunately, this will be a long process of rebuilding.
They WILL need your help once the rains have passed, both literally and figuratively. No one expects that this will be a fast process, and frankly, many of the impacted communities will be dealing with the aftermath of the crisis for months to come.
TAM is not a field services organization but we are happy to funnel information to organizations that can assist with help where needed. Resources and assistance are available to museums that experienced damage from Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Historical Commission is compiling a database of any museums that were impacted. If your museum experienced damage and you’d like to be included in this database, please send information to me and I will pass it along to our partners in the Museum Services Program.
Please remember, a lot of what I have shared has been about buildings that have been damaged or in some cases destroyed. Most importantly, we need to focus on family and friends to ensure that more lives are not lost as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been impacted.
See below for links to agencies that are able to provide assistance to cultural organizations in recovering from this historic weather event.
National Heritage Responders
As the south begins to assess the effects of Hurricane Harvey, the National Heritage Responders stand ready to assist. The NHR is a highly skilled team of conservators and other collections care professionals with expertise in emergency response for cultural heritage collections. The team responds to the needs of cultural institutions during emergencies and disasters through coordinated efforts with first responders, state agencies, vendors and the public.
Cultural heritage institutions affected by Hurricane Harvey are encouraged to call the NHR hotline for advice and referrals. All assistance provided by the National Heritage Responders is free, funded by grants and generous donations to the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation.
The NHR are available and ready to assist those collecting institutions impacted by this historic storm. Please call our hotline at 202-661-8068 or e-mail email@example.com and click below for more information on the NHR.
Texas Historical Commission Disaster Resources
The Texas Historical Commission is ready to help property owners, local officials and state and federal agencies in communities that may be impacted by weather events.
In Texas, both disaster preparedness and disaster relief are coordinated by the Division of Emergency Management (DEM). When the President declares a federal disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) becomes involved. The use of federal funds to assist communities after a disaster is subject to review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act when the clean-up and repair work impacts historic properties. In these situations DEM and FEMA consult with the Texas Historical Commission to ensure that the historic resources are protected.
Glasstire updates on the state of arts organizations affected by Hurricane Harvey
Click here for the article, updated as new information is received.
Support Hurricane Harvey recovery through the Communities Foundation of Texas
The Communities Foundation of Texas is providing multiple ways to support disaster recovery on the Gulf Coast, through the Mass Care Task Force (comprised of the American Red Cross North Texas Region, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, North Texas Food Bank, and VolunteerNow), the Relief and Recovery Fund at CFT, and through donations during North Texas Giving Day.
Mid-America Arts Alliance Teams Up With TCA to Collect Donations for Arts Organizations
Mid-America Arts Alliance is dedicated to more art for more people. As we see the devastation affecting our constituents in the state of Texas, we look for ways to help.
We are partnering with the Texas Commission on the Arts to collect donations for the relief of affected arts organizations. No administrative fees will be charged to your contribution. We are grateful to represent a generous and resilient region. Donate here.
Hurricane Harvey Resources from the Texas Commission on the Arts
Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is concerned about the arts organizations and artists impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We are collecting information about resources that may be helpful on this webpage.
NEH Chairman’s Emergency Grants Available for Humanities Institutions Impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 7, 2017) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites institutions impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to apply for fast-track emergency grants to preserve and protect humanities collections at libraries, museums, colleges, universities, historical societies, and other cultural organizations.
Cultural institutions in FEMA-designated disaster areas of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and other impacted states and U.S. territories can apply immediately for NEH Chairman’s Emergency Grants of up to $30,000 to preserve documents, books, photographs, art works, historical objects, sculptures, and structures damaged by the hurricane and subsequent flooding. Applications for emergency grants are available here.
NEH will award up to $1 million in emergency grants. These funds may be used for activities such as drying, cleaning, and packing humanities collections, transferring artifacts to temporary storage, or consulting with conservators and preservation professionals.
Additionally, all current NEH grantees impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma may apply to change the scope of their grants to repurpose the agency’s funding to focus on critical needs.
Applications will be reviewed as they are received by NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access. To submit an application, or for additional information, please contact the division at (202) 606-8570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AASLH Hurricane Cultural Relief Fund
The AASLH Hurricane Cultural Relief Fund was developed to offer cultural institutions affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma a gap fund to allow them to purchase needed supplies for disaster recovery. Donors contributed $14,000 in just over a month for this fund. Hurricane Cultural Relief Fund mini-grants will be used to repair structures, preserve collections, and help organizations prepare to re-open so they can continue to serve the public with their missions of education and cultural engagement.
These funds have now been distributed and provided aid to 26 institutions in Texas, Florida, and Georgia affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Click here to read the full press release.
More than two dozen people also signed up to be "virtual volunteers" for institutions going through hurricane recovery. The list of contact information for these volunteers is now available upon request. If your institution needs additional assistance as you progress through recovery, please contact TAM staff for more information. email@example.com
FEMA Request for Public Assistance
The Request for Public Assistance (RPA) deadline is now 5:00 pm, Oct. 31, 2017. This is a critical deadline and supersedes any previous deadlines provided by the State. If your arts organization, cultural institution, or government entity misses it, you miss the opportunity to be considered for, and possibly receive, federal disaster assistance. Please do not pre-judge your organization about its eligibility. It’s most important that you file that RPA ASAP. If, for some reason, your organization turns out not to be eligible, it will at least help FEMA know who and where you are so we can determine if other resources can be brought to bear to help you.
The FEMA News Release about the upcoming RPA deadline can be found at https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/10/07/deadline-governmental-jurisdictions-and-private-nonprofits-request-0.