Secretary of State and Vermont Arts Council get $15K emergency preparedness grant

Vermont Business Magazine Secretary of State Jim Condos and State Archivist Tanya Marshall announced today that the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office, in collaboration with the Vermont Arts Council, has been awarded a $15,000 grant to develop a statewide emergency preparedness and response network for Vermont-based performing arts and cultural heritage organizations. Funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation through the Performing Arts Readiness Project, the grant will be administered by the Vermont Historical Records Program of the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration.

“Vermont’s performing arts and cultural heritage organizations play a vital role in the promotion and preservation of our unique history and cultural institutions,” said Secretary Condos. “We’re grateful for this opportunity to work alongside our partners to ensure we have the preparedness measures in place to help prevent the loss of these valuable assets in a worst case scenario.”

Vermont native and accomplished arts management consultant Mary Margaret Schoenfeld will lead the effort and work with various organizations to develop the network and services offered, as well as a sustainability plan. The statewide emergency preparedness and response network is anticipated to be introduced at a forum next summer.

The mission of the Vermont Historical Records Program (VHRP) is to improve public access to and engagement with Vermont historical records and to encourage and facilitate collaborative efforts among Vermont historical records repositories. The Vermont Arts Council envisions a Vermont where all people have access to the arts and creativity in their lives, education, and communities.

Performing arts organizations can be especially vulnerable to disasters and emergencies of all kinds, resulting in destabilizing or catastrophic loss of income and assets.The Performing Arts Readiness project helps organizations nationwide learn how to protect their assets, sustain operations, and be prepared for emergencies. The project includes outreach and engagement efforts, the development and dissemination of information resources and online toolkits, mentoring programs, and grants such as the one awarded to Vermont.

PAR Performing Arts Institutional Emergency Preparedness Planning Grants

The “Performing Arts Readiness” (PAR) project, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, seeks to improve emergency preparedness among performing arts organizations through advocacy and outreach. The national PAR team works to raise awareness, increase resources, and provide training that addresses the unique needs of the performing arts industry, development of basic tools to assist with planning and advocacy, and provision of grant opportunities to support network development and institutional preparedness.

Acknowledging that lack of time, capacity, and expertise are major barriers to emergency preparedness planning for most performing arts organizations, the PAR project offers grants of up to $7,250 to forty (40) performing arts organizations for the creation of individual institutional emergency preparedness or Continuity of Operations (CoOP) plans with defined processes for maintaining the plan through ongoing updates. Although preference will be given to smaller organizations with restricted sources and capacity, all grantees will have the opportunity to become inaugural users of the enhanced ArtsReady online planning tool. The use of a consultant is not required; however, the PAR project can provide a list of consultants equipped to advise during the planning process. Proposed projects must include the creation or revision of an emergency preparedness or CoOp plan for the applicant organization.


Request Amount – up to $7,250

Application Deadlines – submit by November 15, 2018 for projects beginning between January 1 and January 31, 2019.

Length of Project– Projects must be completed in nine (9) months.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a performing arts organization with a least a two-year track record of producing or presenting performances to the public. Applicants must be 501c3 organizations or fiscally sponsored non-profits. Grants will not be made to individuals. Although volunteer-run organizations will be considered, this opportunity is designed for those organizations with at least one full-time staff member.
  • Must have the endorsement of the organization’s leadership and an assigned staff project manager or director.
  • Must be willing to share non-confidential portions of the plan through PAR to provide models for other organizations under a Creative Commons attribution license. A full plan must be presented to PAR as part of the grant’s final report, but PAR staff will work with the grantee to identify and remove confidential details prior to posting.

Examples of Eligible Use of Grant Funds:

  • Travel
  • Meeting expense
  • Consultant fees
  • Training
  • Acquisition/subscription of planning tools
  • Up to 20% of one staff person’s time for the grant period
  • Up to $1250 of the grant award can be utilized after initial consulting or planning activity to purchase recommended equipment or supplies

Funding Restrictions - Funds May Not Be Used For:

  • Overhead or indirect cost
  • Expenses incurred prior to the award of the grant
  • Construction or capital expenses
  • Lobbying or political activity
  • Full-time staff salaries and benefits
  • Only U.S. based organizations are eligible to apply, including those in U.S. Territories

Click here to download the application form and grant guidelines.

Source: 11.26.2018