Lessons Learned from Hurricane Hugo in 1989

Visual artists of the Carolinas who follow “Carolina Arts” – attention please. PSMG, Inc. who produced “Charleston Arts” at the time was a victim of Hurricane Hugo that kicked the art community in Charleston, SC, in the gut in 1989. For almost a year the tourist economy in Charleston was gone. The city’s hotels were full of re-builders, insurance agents, adjustors, FEMA personal, and lawyers suing insurance companies – but there were few tourist and the locals were busy recovering from the disaster. The arts were pretty much shut down. It was quite a bit later before homeowners got new homes and insurance payments to buy new art for their homes. It was a long draught for the arts. But those in the art community who suffered damages got some help – through the National Endowment for the Arts, State Art Agencies and even local art councils to recover. Some were too proud to ask for help while others dipped into the well as many times as they could. And believe me, if you’re an artist you will be harmed. Maybe the gallery you used to show your work at will close – for a few months or forever. Companies and corporations will be giving funds to help people recover not to the arts. So in one way or another you will be hurt. Maybe your studio is three feet under water or high and dry – the results will be the same – your market just took a big hit. Ask for help, ask for money – it’s going to be there for the arts. Check with the local arts council and your state agency and even the NEA, and do it now as that money won’t last forever. We run an ad for CERF+ an organization who helps craft artists and more who are victims of disasters. Contact them at (http://www.craftemergency.org/). Maybe you don’t need this help but you might know someone who does – let them know they don’t have to recover on their own – help is there – you just have to ask. Back in 1989 we didn’t ask for help – we were not a non-profit and we still are not and will never be one, but it would have been nice to get some anyway – that’s another story. You’re not us – ask.

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