Kentucky Arts Council seeking artists impacted by storms and in need of assistance

The Kentucky Arts Council sent out a press release this afternoon seeking information about artists who may need assistance following the storms that struck Kentucky on March 2. Normally this blog does not run press releases verbatim. But this is an exhaustive accounting of potential resources and a guide to applying for relief, so it is being shared in its entirety. To contact the Kentucky Arts Council, call (502) 564-8110. The release reads:

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is trying to determine how many artists and arts organizations have been affected by the severe weather that struck the South and the Midwest last week. If you are a Kentucky artist or arts organization who suffered damage to your home, your studio or gallery, your public facility or your equipment—or if you experienced any other sort of loss or trauma due to the severe storms and tornadoes, please reply to this e-mail (KYARTS@ky.gov) with a very brief accounting of the challenges you are facing. We’d like your name and simple contact information so we can pass it along to the NEA. If you were not directly affected by the storms but you know artists who were, please take a moment to give us their information. We may also provide this information to local groups interested in organizing fund raisers for artists.

 On March 6 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid was available for individuals in Johnson, Kenton, Laurel , Lawrence, Menifee, Morgan and Pendleton Counties. Other counties may be added to the list when local assessments are completed. Helpful tips for registering with FEMA are listed at the end of this message.

 There are several national organizations that lend assistance specifically to artists who have suffered loss from a catastrophic event. After you have addressed your immediate needs, you may want to investigate the following organizations to determine if you are eligible for additional assistance.

CERF+

Craft Artists

800-229-2306

http://craftemergency.org/artists_services/emergency_relief

CERF+ emergency relief assistance includes grants, no-interest loans, access to resources, waivers and discounts on booth fees, and donations of craft supplies and equipment.

CERF + also encourages independent artists who have lost income due to a major disaster to apply for disaster unemployment assistance through the federal government. If there has been a presidential declaration for a major disaster in your county, and your state has requested disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) from the federal government, then you might be eligible for this financial assistance. To receive help, you must register with your state’s employment services office and provide proof of earnings. Benefits usually start from the date of your inability to work due to the disaster and can extend up to 26 weeks after the presidential declaration date. More info:http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/disaster.asp

ADOLPH AND ESTHER GOTTLIEB FOUNDATION: EMERGENCY GRANTS

Painters, Sculptors and Printmakers

212-226-0581

http://gottliebfoundation.org/grants/emergency-grant

ARTISTS FELLOWSHIP, INC.

Painters, Sculptors and Graphic Artists

www.artistfellowship.org

646-230-9833

 JOAN MITCHELL FOUNDATION

Painters and Sculptors

212-524-0100

info@joanmitchellfoundation.org

www.joanmitchellfoundation.org

CHANGE, INC.

Visual Artists

212-473-3742

NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS

www.nyfa.org/source

HERBERT AND IRENE WHEELER FOUNDATION

718-951-0581

THE ACTORS FUND

Performing and Visual Artists

312-372-0989

http://actorsfund.org/services-and-programs/resources

AUTHORS LEAGUE FUND

Writers

212-268-1208

www.authorsleaguefund.org

USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT

800-670-6553

859-224-7300 (Kentucky state office)

www.rurdev.usda.gov/KYHome.html

Information about grants, loans and emergency services

 SOUTH ARTS RECOVERY RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS AND ARTS ORGANIZATIONS

www.southarts.org/recovery

 ADDITIONAL SOURCES FOR EMERGENCY RELIEF FUNDS

www.womenarts.org/fund/EmergencyFunds.htm

 THE STUDIO PROTECTOR ONLINE GUIDE

www.studioprotector.org/OnlineGuide.aspx

The Studio Protector Online Guide is the source for emergency preparedness and recovery information for artists. Small measures taken in advance of an emergency and the right sequence of emergency response actions can make a huge difference in reducing loss and in the time it takes to rebound from a setback.

Tips for Applying to FEMA and the SBA

Courtesy of The Studio Protector Online Guide

 1. Register with FEMA immediately after you have been affected by a disaster, whether you believe you qualify or not. FEMA registration can be a prerequisite to other relief.

 2. While you can now register online (at www.disasterassistance.gov), we still recommend calling because it is an easier process. Right after an emergency, it can be difficult to get through — so be persistent and patient, or use the online process.

 3. If a mobile disaster recovery center has been set up in your community, consider meeting in person with a FEMA rep to register. Also present to help you at these centers will be representatives from the SBA, Red Cross and Salvation Army, volunteer attorneys and accountants, and others.

 4. If you suffer from financial hardship, tell FEMA when you register. While the general rule is that, in order to receive certain kinds of financial aid from FEMA, you first need to apply for a loan from SBA and be denied, this requirement can be waived if you suffer from financial hardship. FEMA will not require you to provide tax or bank records to verify financial status.

 5. Fill out and return the SBA loan applications you are sent, even if you don’t want a loan or know you will be denied. You must be denied an SBA loan in order to qualify for certain kinds of FEMA aid, including replacement costs for tools of the trade (available only if an employer requires them) and personal property (you may be able to replace supplies under the personal property umbrella).

 6. Your application can be denied for the following reasons, and possibly others: you have no credit history; you have no ability to repay; you did not file tax returns when required to; or you have suffered flood damage, live in a designated flood zone and did not have the required insurance coverage.

 7. There is now an electronic application available for SBA disaster loans at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

 8. Questions can be answered after a disaster at 1-800-659-2955, atdisastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or in person by an SBA rep at a disaster resource center in your community.

 9. The homeowners and personal loan forms are not difficult to complete, but you will need to provide descriptions of damaged property and estimates of repair/replacement costs, as well as authorizing the SBA to access your tax returns. Forms are provided for this purpose.

10. The disaster business loan forms and accompanying materials are also not too difficult if you are a sole proprietor, as most artists are. The SBA provides forms to guide you.

 Please go to www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance and especially to http://training.sba.gov:8000/response, which is an excellent self-paced tutorial about the SBA disaster loan program and how to apply.

11. Always answer all questions fully and truthfully. You can be prosecuted for fraud if you don’t.

12. We highly recommend that you keep copies of tax and insurance documents, and visual documentation of your studio contents (videotape preferable), in a safe off-site location (SOL) such as a safety deposit box. These items will then be more readily available after a disaster.

(See Safekeeping Your Business and Artistic Records)

13. The IRS has advice, publications, and services related to disasters, and can help you reconstruct your federal tax records: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=156138,00.html

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