Art became the oxygen: A guide to artistic response

Resource types: 
Arlene Goldbard and Amelia Brown
Date Published: 
August 2017
Published In/by: 
US Department of Arts and Culture


*Downloadable guide in the link below*

"A Guide for Artists, Emergency Management Agencies, Funders, Policy-Makers, and Communities Responding to Natural and Civil Emergencies

As natural disasters and social emergencies multiply, the need has grown for ethical, creative, and effective artistic response—arts-based work responding to disaster or other community-wide emergency, much of it created in collaboration with community members directly affected. Art Became The Oxygen was created to engage three categories of readers who share the intention of offering care and compassion and helping to create possibility in the midst or wake of crisis:

  • Artists who wish to use their gifts for healing, whether in the immediate aftermath of a crisis or during the months and years of healing and rebuilding resilience that follow.
  • Resource-providers—both public and private grantmakers and individual donors—who care about compassion and community-building.
  • Disaster agencies, first responders, and service organizations on call and on duty when an emergency occurs, and those committed to helping over time to heal the damage done.

Art Became The Oxygen incorporates first-person experience and guidance from respected voices deeply engaged in artistic response from Katrina to Ferguson, from Sandy to Standing Rock. It includes hundreds of links to powerful arts projects, official emergency resources, and detailed accounts for those who want to go even deeper.

Please stay tuned for more information about the newly developing Bureau of Artistic Response, a national network of Citizen Artists to share resources, learn from each other, and make a wider impact in this work. When you download the Guide, you’ll automatically receive updates."