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Responding to Yesterday’s Tragedy in Oklahoma

Dear friends and colleagues,

As we continue to hear more news about the devastating tornado that passed through the town of Moore on the outskirts of Oklahoma City yesterday, we at Americans for the Arts send our thoughts and prayers to the artists, administrators, and all those affected.  When natural disasters strike, there is no way to fully comprehend or process the pain they inflict.  They are arbitrary, and yesterday’s horrific storm makes us feel powerless.  As we try to contact friends and colleagues in the area, and know that many of you are doing the same, we realize that while we can’t stop these tragedies from happening, we can join together to help others pick up the pieces.  Moore and Oklahoma City are resilient, creative communities, and we are here to support them as best we can.  Americans for the Arts staff have been in touch with many of our partners and colleagues in the area, including the immediate-past Chair of our Board of Directors, Ken Fergeson of Altus, OK, and continue to monitor the situation.  We hope to be able to share more information soon, and in the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us directly. 

Oklahoma, you are in our thoughts today. I have included below some emergency resources to help you start on the long road to recovery, and know that we are always here to answer questions, to help, and to send you our hopes for a brighter tomorrow.

Emergency Response Resources:

The Essential Guidelines for Arts Responders is an immediate resource to help you determine your organization’s response and work in the weeks ahead. It is an abridged version of a longer, more detailed handbook (now in development) that’s designed to help local and state arts agencies, organizations, foundations, and other arts groups plan and administer a coordinated disaster mobilization system within their service area. We hope that it helps you, and we welcome your comments and additions.

We also encourage you to visit our National Coalition Partners: CERF+ and ArtsReady for resource links and more disaster relief information.

You may also visit our website for more information; here is a link to our page that has resource links for emergency preparedness and disaster relief: 
http://www.artsusa.org/networks/laa/017.asp

Please let Theresa Cameron, Local Arts Agency Services, know how you are doing and if you have other information you would like to share.  In these days after the tornado, our thoughts are with you, your families, friends, and colleagues.

Best,

Bob Lynch, President and CEO
Americans for the Arts

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