Response to Hurricane Katrina: How to Help Arts-Related Efforts09.16.2005
The Arts Alliance Mountain Empire board of directors and members offer our prayers and best wishes to all affected by Hurricane Katrina. As the tragic events surrounding this disaster continue to unfold, each of us is overwhelmed by the scope and impact of the destruction. It will take all of us working together to make a difference.
Many of the affected citizens are visual artists, dancers, music teachers, musicians, orchestra members, etc. They have lost their homes, studios, instruments, music — their very livelihoods. While there will be tax dollars to rebuild school music programs, the independent artist or teacher will not have the same assistance. What can you do to help?
First, work with national, state and local arts organizations. For example, the Music Teachers National Association has started a Hurricane Katrina Recovery Fund to aid music teachers with the re-establishment of their studios. You may donate musical instruments (see www.mtna.org/Inkind.htm), make a cash donation (https://members.mtna.org/Katrina/recoveryfund.asp) or send it in the mail, marking the check for "Hurricane Katrina Recovery Fund." Check the on-line bulletin board (https://members.mtna.org/discussions/index.php) for specific requests.
Other organizations around the country are doing the same for their colleagues. The American Symphony Orchestra League has been tracking information from member orchestras and others in Louisiana and surrounding states. If you have information about orchestras in the affected area, please contact Jan Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. To keep you informed, the League is updating information on its website: www.symphony.org.
In addition, the League has established a Gulf Coast Orchestra Relief Fund to help support those orchestras that were most affected by the storm, including the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gulf Coast Symphony (Biloxi), the Meridian Symphony Orchestra, and the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra. Please make checks payable to the American Symphony Orchestra League, 33 West 60th St., Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10023 and write "Gulf Coast Orchestra Relief Fund" on the face of the check. For more information, contact Stacey Weston at email@example.com.
The American Association of Museums (AAM) is compiling a list entitled "First Reports" detailing damage to various museums and organizations directly affected by the Hurricane Katrina disaster. For updates, go to www.aam-us.org/aamlatest/news/HurricaneFirstReports.cfm.
As of Sept. 6, AAM reports that the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) survived the hurricane and its aftermath without significant damage. There was no structural damage and no water in the basement. During the storm, FEMA wanted NOMA security and maintenance employees to move to a safer location, but there was no way to secure the artwork inside, so the staff stayed on-site. Before the storm, museum workers had taken down some pieces in the sculpture garden, but a towering modernist sculpture that was left behind was reduced to a twisted mess in the lagoon. The museum has decided to bring in a larger generator for climate control instead of moving the collection. The sculpture park has many uprooted trees, but only one sculpture was damaged.
On Aug. 30, a spokesperson for the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans reported that the CAC suffered only minor to moderate structural damage, mainly blown out windows on the first and fourth floors. However, conditions may have worsened after the levee broke because the CAC is closed until further notice.