The Blue Moon
KAC Home Publications

  VOL. 12  NO. 6

November/December 2005
In This Issue
bullet The Arts and Hurricane Relief Efforts
bullet On the National Front
bullet Arts Council News
 
bullet Around Kentucky
bullet Craft Marketing News
bullet Focus on Folklife
bullet Arts in Education
bullet Resources and Reports
bullet Quotable Quote
bullet Hot Dates
 

Kentucky: Unbridaled Spirit, The Kentucky Arts Council

The Blue Moon is published bi-monthly by the Kentucky Arts Council, a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet. Please send comments, questions and information to the Blue Moon, Kentucky Arts Council, 500 Mero Street, 21st Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601-1987 or call 502-564-3757, toll free 1-888-833-2787.
E-mail: kyarts@ky.gov

For other Kentucky
Government sites visit:

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The Katrina Relief from and for the Arts is Strong

Rubble of the Biloxi Little Theatre. Photo courtesy of Mississippi Arts Commission.

The response from local, regional and national arts organizations and artists to the individuals and institutions that suffered damage in the recent hurricanes has been heartfelt and strong. Interventions such as that modeled by former Kentucky Arts Council director Gerri Combs are a perfect example. As Combs was in transition from director of the Kentucky Arts Council to her new position as director of the Southern Arts Federation, she dove into new challenges immediately after the devastating weather of Katrina, organizing a fund to assist New Orleans artists and arts organizations. This kind of generosity and active participation demonstrated the concern and care that people across the country felt for those who experienced the tempests' tantrums. And it is this rapid response that will help individuals, families, and arts organizations land back on their feet and come out swinging.

Kentucky's Artists and Organizations Respond

While there is no way we could acknowledge all of the magnanimous efforts that are taking place to help the thousands of people and many organizations that were effected by the massive storm, we'd like to make mention of a few.

  • Musicians Carla Gover and Mitch Barrett of the musical duo Zoe Speaks, donated (in partnership with CD Baby) all the October profits from website sales of their CDs to the Red Cross, with funds earmarked specifically for the Katrina fund. There are many artists participating in this effort, so visit www.cdbaby.com and check out the Hurricane Relief Gallery, where you can listen, purchase, and help.
  • On September 10, Bowling Green artist Andee Rudloff held a Y-ART SALE with all proceeds going to the fund set up by the Southern Arts Federation to aid artists in the Gulf Region. "I read about the fund online and did not hesitate to call on all persons and artists to give what they can...in the form of a y-"ART" Sale.
  • Many organizations have coordinated relief benefits, including Morehead State University, who hosted the "Fish, Fiddlin' and Funds" community benefit concert, fish fry and auction on October 1. The proceeds from the suggested $10 donations were sent to the American Red Cross's effort for hurricane relief along the Gulf Coast.
  • On October 2, a gala vocal concert was held at St. Agnes Church in Louisville. HEARTSONGS: A Concert to Benefit Survivors of Hurricane Katrina, included prominent singers from the community, The Louisville Chorus and faculty members from the University of Louisville, Bellermine University and the Baptist Seminary. Although the concert was free, attendees could donate at the door and all proceeds were donated to Kentucky Harvest, which in turn sent the proceeds for hurricane relief.

Other organizations designated funds from an already scheduled event to the relief effort. During both public performances of the Lexington Ballet's fall production, The Fabric of Dance, victims of Hurricane Katrina temporarily residing in the area and those who volunteered in the hurricane-affected region were invited to attend at no charge. The Lexington Ballet donated 100% of the proceeds of ticket sales from both nights to Gulf Coat recovery. Anyone who purchased a ticket for the performances enjoyed the highest quality of ballet seen in Lexington and contributed to the assistance of coastal residents. In addition, the funds from the local businesses and organizations that sponsored these performances were also donated.

The Kentucky Art Education Association is participating in the National Art Education Association Southeast region's project to "Give Katrina the Boot." The project involves decorating a white rubber "shrimper's" boot and putting it in a prominent spot for people to put in donations. For more information, please visit www.kyaea.org and scroll down to "Give Katrina the Boot."

Louisville's Fund for the Arts postponed their own annual fund-raising drive to coordinate the ArtsCare Initiative. Volunteers placed easily identifiable yellow collection envelopes in many strategic locations. Everything that was collected through October was donated to the Red Cross. You can go to www.fundforthearts.com or call 502.582.0100 for more information.

Last, but certainly not least, Arts Kentucky has a complete list of agencies and organizations that are participating in ongoing relief efforts. You can access this list at www.artsky.org.

Regional and National Organizations Respond

When major storms create such extensive and catastrophic damage, it is not surprising that arts organizations and venues suffer as well. The National Association for State Arts Agencies has a long list, but here are just a few examples of the loss and economic devastation:

  • The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's home base, the ornate Orpheum Theatre, itself a landmark, was flooded. Many of the orchestra's 68 musicians are homeless as well as having lost their instruments and scores. The Louisiana State Museum (built in 1829), the Southern Repertory Theatre and the New Orleans Opera have been devastated. The Newcomb Art Gallery of Tulane University was extensively flooded.
  • In Mississippi, Beauvoir, the 1854 home of Jefferson Davis and the state's number one cultural tourism site, sustained severe damage. The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum in Biloxi and the Bay St. Louis Little Theatre are reduced to rubble, and the Old Capitol Museum of Mississippi History had a third of its copper roof is blown away.
  • The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the sixth largest Shakespeare Festival in the world, has lost $170,000 in revenue due to Katrina-related cancellations of its tours and tickets to its performances. The venues are destroyed, the audiences are displaced. The Birmingham Children's Theatre and the Museum of Mobile are extensively damaged.

The National Endowment for the Arts offers compelling reasons for why the arts must be included in relief efforts:

  • The arts play a disproportionately large role in the economy of the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.
  • Arts organizations and artists cannot recover and rebuild without quick and effective aid.
  • Tourism will not rebound until arts and culture rebound.

In response to the horrific losses sustained by the coastal area, the National Endowment for the Arts and other national arts agencies have established relief funds in order to help rebuild the economies of Hurricane Katrina-affected states. Goals include rebuilding the operational capacity of arts organizations and institutions in affected areas, providing programs to employ displaced artists, arts administrators and arts educators within the affected states, serving the affected communities and displaced families, and assisting communities with design and planning for the future.

Regional efforts include those like that of Swine Palace, the professional theatre associated with the Louisiana State University Department of Theatre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has formed an alliance with arts organizations from across the country to create Arts Unite for Hurricane Relief. The most visible and important component of this campaign is a rapidly expanding website that highlights relief efforts by arts groups from all over the United States. There are housing offers and help for displaced artists and art workers, suggestions for fundraising events, links to donor organizations, and downloadable ads for programs. They are also posting a schedule of events planned for hurricane relief and you can add your event to their calendar. Suggestions for fund raising, offers of housing, pleas for networking for relief events, suggested relief charities to highlight, etc, are greatly appreciated. Visit www.swinepalace.org.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, The Southern Arts Federation, a not-for-profit regional umbrella arts organization that has been making a difference in the arts throughout the South since 1975, established an Emergency Relief Fund to assist arts organizations and artists residing in Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Distribution and decisions on the use of funds will be made by state arts agencies. For more information, contact:

Southern Arts Federation Emergency Relief Fund
1800 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 808
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
www.southarts.org
FAX: (404) 873-2148
ATTN: Emergency Relief Fund

Nationally, Americans for the Arts has established the Americans for the Arts Emergency Relief Fund, a permanent fund developed to provide timely financial assistance to areas impacted by a major disaster for the purpose of helping them rebuild the arts in their communities. Created with an initial contribution of $100,000 from Americans for the Arts' own reserves, the relief fund will distribute support directly to local arts agencies to assist with their own recovery or to provide needed services and funding to local nonprofit arts groups and individual artists in affected areas, and to other relief efforts dedicated to helping the arts. One hundred percent of the contributions to the Emergency Relief Fund will go directly to these efforts. For information on how to make a tax-deductible contribution or to apply for funds, visit www.americansforthearts.org.

The double threat of Katrina and Rita presented a tremendous but not unfamiliar challenge to the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. Now in its 20th year, CERF is a recognized specialist in delivery of emergency aid to artists and a leader in national efforts to coordinate emergency relief to all artists. CERF produces and distributes research and policy studies, serves as an advocate for expanding the infrastructure for craft artists, and is a clearinghouse for information and financial assistance for craft artists as well as a focal point of donations for the tightly knit craft community in the aftermath of the storms. "Based on our experience providing aid to last year's hurricane victims, we know that the volume of applications will grow significantly in the next several weeks once craft artists are able to return to their homes and studios and assess the damage. We anticipate an unprecedented demand on our resources," said CERF executive director Cornelia Carey on the CERF Web site.

CERF is delivering assistance in two phases. Phase One is offering immediate aid in the form of grants and/or quick loans of up to $3,500 to cover the most basic expenses (rent, groceries, gas, etc.).Phase Two consists of primarily business loans of up to $8,000 through CERF's Phoenix Loan program. CERF will leverage these larger loans with additional capital from other lenders.

For more information on how you can help, go to www.craftemergency.org. Recovery from the enormous destruction sustained in the South in the past few months will take months, perhaps years, and the need for funds will be ongoing. It is not to late to consider a donation or a second or third contribution, if possible. Contact any one of these organizations or log on to the Arts Kentucky Web site, www.artsky.org, to learn more.

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