September is National Preparedness Month, and arts organizations must take action now to prepare for an uncertain future.
The arts are the heart and soul of the community, but too often, they are the last to recover after a crisis. Disasters are unpredictable, but you don’t have to be. Taking small steps today to prepare can mean the difference between recovering after a disaster or permanently closing the doors.
Illness, fire, and natural disaster make up 69 percent of all disasters facing the arts community, according to CEFT+, a nonprofit supporting artists in readiness, relief, and resilience.
You already know the basics to get ready – make a kit; make a plan; be informed, and get involved. Identifying, understanding, and preparing for risks are vital parts of management, whether you are an individual, an artist, or an arts organization. Visit ready.gov/september to get started on your plan.
The next question to ask is how do you take your preparedness to the next level as an artist or arts organization?
ArtsFairfax is partnering with regional and national organizations to present Creative Resilience: The Art of Mass Gatherings in Northern Virginia October 2, 10 a.m to 1:30 p.m. at McLean Community Center. The experimental and immersive workshop uses festivals as classrooms to create an arts-focused approach to emergency preparedness. The workshop is presented by Performing Arts Readiness through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The event is free, but registration is required to attend. Visit ArtsFairfax.org to register today.
Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, hosted by Tephra ICA, takes place September 10, 11, and 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Reston Town Center. The event highlights more than 200 artists who create unique, handmade works in fine art and craft. The event is free, and safety protocols will be in place. Visit tephraica.org/festival to learn more.
Workhouse Second Saturday Art Walk
Workhouse Arts Center welcomes the community back to an in-person Second Saturday Art Walk September 11, 6 to 9 p.m. Workhouse is home to more than 60 resident visual artists and the Arches Gallery. Artists will be onsite to speak about their work. The event is free to the public. Visit workhousearts.org to learn more.
Arts Emerging: A Celebration of Renewal
The George Mason University Center for the Arts welcomes students and the community back to campus for a one-night-only family-friendly extravaganza full of arts and food to celebrate the return of arts to campus and the 20th anniversary of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The September 25, night begins with a free student and alumni showcase and exhibition around Holton Plaza from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Students and alumni will perform at 8 p.m. in the Center for the Arts. Tickets are $10 per person. Visit cfa.gmu.edu for more information.