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Is Houston’s Cultural Community Ready for the Next Storm?

Workshops aim to help post-Harvey arts community prepare for disasters

Medley Inc.
Houston Airports System employees in front of the collaborative piece by San Antonio-based artists Sunny Sliger and Marianne Newsom, who donated the work to the Harvey Arts Recover Fund. This photo was taken during a temporary installation at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

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As full-recovery from Harvey continues for many sectors in Houston, the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) said many in the city's arts community are still unprepared for the next disaster.

The alliance reports 71 arts and culture non-profits reported damages from Harvey, totaling more than $56 million dollars. In addition, HAA said almost all of those entities are still suffering from revenue loss, due to lost ticket sales and cancelled programs.

That's why the alliance is hosting a series of free workshops, lead by national experts from Performing Arts Readiness and CERF+, to help the arts community minimize future potential damage and become more resilient.

  • Wortham Center "Front of House" basement-elevator in the aftermath of Harvey (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Houston First)
    Wortham Center "Front of House" basement-elevator in the aftermath of Harvey (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Houston First)
  • During Hurricane Harvey, water flooded many parts of the Wortham Center, including this ballet studio. (Photo Credit: Courtesy - Houston Ballet)
    During Hurricane Harvey, water flooded many parts of the Wortham Center, including this ballet studio. (Photo Credit: Courtesy - Houston Ballet)

The alliance says the cultural sector in the greater Houston area has an economic value of about $1.1 billion, and it’s important to make sure it’s resilient.

"The greater Houston cultural community is vital to the region's economy and to its quality of life," Philamena Baird, Chairman of the Board of the Houston Arts Alliance, said in a statement. "The important work of building resilience will help prevent the disastrous effects of Hurricane Harvey from happening all over again when the next disaster hits."

The workshops will cover things like studio safety, documentation before and after a storm, safe storage, and insurance coverage. They will also inform attendees how to connect with various resources, like FEMA.

“I don’t think you can name one arts and culture institution, or one person in the city of Houston, who wasn’t affected by Harvey,” said Lauren Hainley, Grants and Special Projects Assistant at the Houston Arts Alliance. “And I think, before a natural disaster like that, you believe that it could only happen to someone else, right? And once it happens to you, that’s when you start to think about, ‘I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to me again.’ And that’s why it’s important for us to start thinking about that.”

You can register for the workshops here.

Ready & Resilient Workshops

  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018
    1:00pm – 4:00pm
    UH Clear Lake
    2700 Bay Area Blvd
    Houston, TX 77058
  • Wednesday, October 10, 2018
    10:00am – 1:00pm
    Sugar Land City Hall
    Cane Room – First Floor
    2700 Town Center Blvd North
    Sugar Land, TX 77479
  • Thursday, October 11, 2018
    10:00am – 1:00pm
    Houston Arts Alliance Gallery
    3201 Allen Parkway
    Houston, TX 77019

 

  • Harvey Arts Recover Fund  Grant Recipient Louis Gonzalez at the Bayou City Art Festival (Photo Credit: Medley Inc.)
    Harvey Arts Recover Fund Grant Recipient Louis Gonzalez at the Bayou City Art Festival (Photo Credit: Medley Inc.)
  • Harvey Arts Recover Fund Grant Recipient Brian Ellison in front of Project Row Houses (Photo Credit: Alex Barber )
    Harvey Arts Recover Fund Grant Recipient Brian Ellison in front of Project Row Houses (Photo Credit: Alex Barber )
  • Harvey Arts Recovery Fund Grant Recipient Dixie Friend Gay at Midtown Park in front of her 12-by-63-foot mosaic mural titled "Wild Wonderland." (Photo Credit: Medley Inc. )
    Harvey Arts Recovery Fund Grant Recipient Dixie Friend Gay at Midtown Park in front of her 12-by-63-foot mosaic mural titled "Wild Wonderland." (Photo Credit: Medley Inc. )

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