NYFA Source | Hurricane Maria Resources Round-Up

NYFA Source | Hurricane Maria Resources Round-Up

Artists impacted by Hurricane Maria: find the support you need.

Para leer este articulo en Español presione aquí.

In the wake of large-scale devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Dominica, artists, cultural workers, and their communities have shown remarkable resilience. Spanish artist and Puerto Rico resident Noelia Medina Fernández pointed to “the amazing efforts the community develops to move forward” in a recent Hyperallergic piece on the response from the arts community in Puerto Rico.

Below are a range of resources for artists working towards short-term and long-term recovery. Find resources related to Hurricane Irma recovery here and resources related to Hurricane Harvey here.

Tools for Searching

Additional information on Current Disaster Resources, Emergency Grants, and more can be found on NYFA Source, an online arts database with over 12,000 resources and opportunities for artists in all disciplines. Individuals can also call the NYFA Source Hotline at (800) 232-2789, from Monday – Friday, 3:00 – 5:00 PM EST, or email [email protected]. Please note that assistance over the phone will be in English, but emails in Spanish can be accommodated if needed. For questions specifically about the emergency grants and opportunities in the “Arts and Culture Specific Resources” section below, please contact those organizations directly.

Translation Assistance

While some of the programs below currently offer application materials in Spanish, others do not. Artists who would like to receive assistance with translations can contact the Ladon Language Team. Responders and volunteers can call the Ladon Language Hotline at 844-561-4888 to connect to a language assistant who can help translate over the phone. Users can also text the hotline to request translation of any short text. To request document translation, users can email the document to [email protected].

Federal Assistance

Interruption of income can be one of the most distressing effects of a disaster, especially for those who make their living on a freelance basis and through creative work. Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available from the U.S. Department of Labor and its affiliates. Find information regarding Hurricane Maria Disaster Unemployment Assistance here; Puerto Rican residents impacted by Hurricane Maria can apply through el Departamento del Trabajo y Recursos Humanos before January 11, 2018, and can call (787) 625-7900 for help. The deadline for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been extended to December 29, 2017. Call (340) 773-1994 or (340) 776-3700 for help.

Individuals and businesses can also apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Applicants can apply online or visit a disaster recovery center in their area. Call (800) 659‐2955 with questions.

Puerto Rico residents, find resources and information from FEMA in English and in Spanish. Residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands, information is available in Spanish, in Haitian Creole, and in English. Individuals in the U.S. Virgin Islands have until January 8, 2018, and individuals in Puerto Rico have until June 18, 2018, to apply for individual assistance. 

You can also apply for Other Needs Assistance (ONA) from the FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP). This program provides money, up to the program maximum, for necessary expenses and serious needs, that are not housing related, and which can’t be met through other means. Other needs assistance under IHP includes: 

  • Personal property
  • Childcare
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Transportation

Housing assistance is also available from the FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP).

DisasterAssistance.gov consolidates the application process across several agencies like FEMA and SBA. The site is also available in Spanish. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by navigating federal assistance, you’re not alone. These Tips for Working with FEMA + SBA from CERF+ may help. Artists seeking free legal aid with issues like housing and FEMA applications can also contact Ayuda Legal Huracán María, or the Louisiana Civil Justice Center hotline, which can be reached at (800) 310-7029 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CST, Monday through Friday. Assistance in Spanish is available.

Get Involved

Americans for the Arts has created and will continue to update a Hurricane Maria Relief page, which lists ways to help and ways for impacted artists to get help. There are a range of arts and culture organizations working with the affected communities that you can support, like Beta-Local, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico’s Artist Emergency Fund, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund, and Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (PRTT)’s Relief Drive for Artists. Learn more about the peer-to-peer fundraising efforts of Pregones//PRTT in our interview with Arnaldo J. López, the organization’s Development Officer and a native of Puerto Rico.

Arts and Culture Specific Resources

See below for a variety of emergency grants and other services for artists of all disciplines. *Updated December 30, 2017

To find more resources and opportunities, use NYFA Source, a free searchable database of 12,000+ awards, residencies, and services.

– Mirielle Clifford, Program Officer, Online Resources, translated into Spanish by Alicia Ehni, Program Associate, NYFA Learning

Image: Diógenes Ballester (Fellow in Printmaking/Drawing/Artists Books ‘91), La Espera

Amy Aronoff
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