CERF+ Responds to OK Tornadoes

CERF+ is in the process of reaching out to artists and organizations in the areas that were affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma over the past week. If you know anyone in these communities, please help us connect with them either by passing along their contact information or by passing ours to them. If you are part of an arts organization, please make sure your constituents know about CERF+’s programs and services. In addition to our emergency relief for craft artists, we also have resources about clean-up, salvage, applying for aid from FEMA, and more that may prove useful in the coming weeks and months.

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Meg Brazill Joins CERF+ Staff

Earlier this month, CERF+ welcomed Meg Brazill to our staff as Public Relations and Outreach Associate. Meg is a writer, editor, and self-described information maven who has more than twenty years of experience working in—and writing about—the arts. She has managed performing artists in New York City, directed a literary program for the Lannan Foundation (Los Angeles), and was executive director for the local arts council (Woodstock, Vermont). She has served on grant panels for the Maine Arts Commission, the Lannan Foundation, and the Vermont Arts Council, among others. A contributing writer to Art New England, among other magazines, Meg is the editor of Vermont Art Zine, an online site for promoting Vermont art and artists, and she is also working on a book of short fiction.

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CERF+’s Craig Nutt Creates Bench Commemorating Nashville Floods

Watermarks is a series of public artworks located in neighborhoods which were most affected by the devastating flood that hit Nashville, Tennessee, in 2010. Six artists were chosen to create artworks honoring the experiences of those touched by the flood. Each artist participated in community meetings and input sessions that informed their final designs. According to the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the intent of the project is that “through beauty these works will show our resilience and spirit in the face of crisis. Each piece will serve as a place for reflection, community interaction and renewal.”

Craig Nutt, CERF+’s Director of Programs, was one of the artists selected and his work,“Bellevue Bench Mark,” is a bench seat derived from maps of the May 2010 flood in Bellevue. A blue line atop the bench traces the riverbed of the Harpeth River as it winds through Bellevue. The bench is approximately 4’ h x 15’ w x 8’ d, polychrome concrete.

Artist Craig Nutt described his experience participating in the Bellevue community meeting, “...flood experiences ranged from helping neighbors to the loss of family members. The participants portrayed a community that is neighborly, resolute, resilient and proud of the way they pulled together during and after the flood... not victims, but survivors.”

“Bellevue Bench Mark” will be installed in Harpeth Knoll Park, Harpeth Knoll Road, Nashville on Sunday, June 2, 1:30 pm

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Don’t Miss Out on MayDay!

MayDay has been designated by cultural institutions around the country as a day of preparedness, and we here at CERF+ think that’s such a great idea that we’re celebrating all month long. We hope you’ll join us: do one thing this month to better prepare yourself and your business for an emergency. Let us know what you’ve done on our facebook page (preferably with a photo!) and we’ll send you a copy of our Business Insurance Guide for Artists (a $3.00) value. Our Studio Protector website has plenty of ideas to help you get started.

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Tip of the Month: Be Tornado Safe

While we are all focused on the tragic tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, it is a good time to remind ourselves that much of the U.S. outside of “tornado alley” is also vulnerable to tornadoes and high winds. Knowing what to do, and doing it quickly is the key to surviving a tornado. The Studio Protector offers some tips:

  • Get a NOAA weather radio for home and studio. Many tornado fatalities occur when people are asleep or unaware that they are under a tornado watch.
  • Have a designated safe place to shelter during a tornado warning. This should be in a basement or underground shelter if you have one. Otherwise a small, sturdy, interior room such as a bathroom is the next best bet. You want as many walls between you and the outside as possible.
  • Helmets or hard hats, especially those with face shields, provide extra protection. The most serious injuries caused by tornadoes are head injuries.
  • If you are in a commercial building, shopping center, or other building away from home, look for a tornado shelter sign or seek shelter in a smaller room such as a restroom, or interior hallway. Avoid areas with wide roof expanses that may collapse. Avoid areas with windows where you would be in danger from flying glass.
  • Mobile homes are not safe places to be in a tornado. Seek shelter in a more substantial building and as a last resort, in a ditch, culvert, or other low-lying area.
  • Automobiles are routinely picked up and destroyed by tornadoes. Seek shelter in a building, or as a last resort in a culvert or ditch. While it may seem like a good idea at the time, severe weather conditions, traffic, and road conditions make it unlikely that you can outrun a tornado without putting yourself and others at greater risk.

The Studio Protector has Disaster Specific Planning tips and resources for tornadoes and other disasters. Also, see Ready.gov's information on tornado preparedness

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