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Hurricane Relief for Southwest Florida Artists

Southwest Florida was hit by Hurricane Ian on September 28, 2022. Artists and arts organizations struck by this natural disaster have suffered great damage and loss. They are in crisis but can be comforted to some extent knowing that there is help available to help them.

There are national, state, and local disaster recovery resources available to all those impacted by Hurricane Ian. FEMA is working with its partners to support survivors and their communities and has a list of recovery resources published online. For Florida artists and arts organizations, there are some resources available that are geared directly to their needs in the wake of the storm.

For instance, the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response is a voluntary task force comprised of national, regional, state, and local arts organizations, public agencies, and foundations that help within the arts and culture sector. Another helpful resource is the Art Dealers Association of America, which maintains a relief fund for arts organizations recovering from natural disasters. And CERF+ also stands in the gap, offering its namesake program, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund.

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST FOR ARTISTS

Hurricanes have been a longstanding threat in the Southwest Florida area. Artists and arts organizations need to have a hurricane preparedness plan in place because their work is vulnerable. As artists and arts organizations begin to rebuild in the aftermath of this disaster, here are some extra considerations for protecting art.

  • Prepare. Ensure you have necessary supplies on hand such as radios, flashlights, batteries,  buckets, and mops. If possible, install hurricane rated glass windows and shutters to protect against high winds.
  • Maintain an inventory. Secure important papers in water and fire proof safes or storage, and keep a copy of all documents at a separate location. Consider storing important documents in the cloud.
  • Keep a list of emergency contact information. This list should include your insurance broker, insurance company, policy number(s), conservators, and art packers/shippers. Remember that cell phone towers and electrical grids could be down following a significant storm, so keep phones charged or extra batteries on hand.
  • Consider an evacuation plan for your art prior to a known approaching storm. Fill cars with gas to avoid post-storm shortages.
  • Mitigate flood risks. Store your artwork off the floor, and never keep artwork in a basement or sub-grade location.

~from Risk Strategies’ guide, “Fine Art Practice: Hurricane Preparedness” https://www.risk-strategies.com/images/uploads/Fine_Art_Hurricane_Preparedness_1.pdf

For more information on Hurricane Ian recovery efforts across the State of Florida, follow updates from Governor Ron DeSantis. In Naples, Florida, stay informed with the most up-to-date information via the official websites of the City of Naples and Collier County

The Naples Art District (NAD) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization that boasts the largest concentration of working artists in the Southwest Florida area. The 90+ fine artists maintain working studios and galleries in the District, which are open to the public for self-guided tours, during open studio hours, and for special events. If you are planning a trip to visit the Naples area and are interested in finding out more about the organization and its member artists, contact the Naples Art District.