The Art of Community Resilience: FEMA Builds Connections Between Art, Culture and Emergency Management

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Release Date:
January 31, 2024

WASHINGTON — Today, in alignment with FEMA’s Year of Resilience campaign and its commitment to the arts and culture, FEMA proudly announces the release of the Fact Sheet on Art and Culture: Helping People Before, During, and After Disasters. This fact sheet on the intersection of art, emergency management, and community resilience provides an overview on the role of emergency managers, art and cultural organizations, and artists in harnessing the strength of the arts to fortify communities, champion equity and build local community resilience. 

“From sculptures that direct rainwater away from buildings to murals depicting flood levels, we have seen the power of art in community awareness, preparedness and, ultimately, resilience,” said FEMA’s Office of External Affairs Director, Justin Ángel Knighten. “Everyone has something to offer when it comes to community readiness. The collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts and FEMA exemplifies our joint commitment to the arts as a powerful force in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.”

This fact sheet adds to ongoing conversations about how individual artists and the art community at-large can lend their vision and skills to build communities more resilient to disasters.  On Jan. 23, FEMA and the NEA cohosted the webinar FEMA and NEA Webinar on Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Resources for Artists and Art and Cultural Organizations.  The webinar highlighted key resources that can help promote collaborations between emergency management professionals and the art community. The FEMA resources can now be found in the newly published fact sheet. 

“Artists and art institutions are key contributors to creating spaces for inspiration, hope, healing and connecting people from all walks of life to discover shared interest, values and opportunities for bridge building,” said Marcus Coleman, director for the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. “We are thankful to Chair Jackson and the dynamic team at the National Endowment of the Arts and the many partners in the arts community for working with us to help people before, during and after disasters.”

In addition to last week’s webinar and today’s release of the fact sheet, yesterday FEMA joined NEA for a first-of-its-kind summit that recognized the profound impact of arts and culture in shaping our lives, communities and nation. The Healing, Bridging, Thriving: A Summit on Arts and Culture in our Communities event took place on Tuesday, Jan. 30 and a livestream of the event is available on NEA’s YouTube page.

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