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Monday, May 16 • 4:00pm - 4:45pm
(General Session: Lead by Example - Models to Follow) Alliance for Response New York City - Collaborations to Protect and Preserve Cultural Heritage

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This presentation highlights the innovative national initiative Alliance for Response, that has been bringing together cultural heritage and emergency management professionals at the local level – where all initial disaster response occurs – since 2003. Formerly a volunteer facilities group, Alliance for Response NYC (AFRNYC) has worked to help New York City cultural institutions prepare for the inevitable emergency through programming and partnering with agencies and related organizations. AFRNYC is focused on connecting emergency responders with representatives of the New York City cultural heritage community. Our goal is to strengthen local mitigation and response capabilities through training opportunities, local planning efforts, and improved dialogue and partnerships. Our nearly 500 members represent private individuals, nonprofit organizations, businesses, public agencies, and other institutions interested in the preservation of New York City’s cultural holdings. We will provide an overview of Alliance for Response and discuss the formation of the AFRNYC network, and how its role in the cultural community has evolved. The history of AFRNYC programming and the importance of establishing strong collaborative ties with the NYC emergency management community will be addressed. The role played by AFRNYC in coordinating preparedness and response efforts in the cultural community before, during, and after Hurricane Sandy will be summarized. Throughout the crisis AFRNYC was a key player, and our participation in outreach projects, assistance with the assembly of the AIC-CERT Cultural Recovery Center, and information collection about affected institutions led to creative and effective support for affected institutions and artists. Through these efforts we attained a better understanding of how we could strengthen our assistance to the cultural community as we prepared for subsequent disasters. As a result of a grant received after Hurricane Sandy from the New York Community Trust in 2013, AFRNYC has undergone many changes. One of the goals was to strengthen the group’s organizational structure to support an expanded mission, and improve collaboration with government and other not-for-profit organizations locally and nationally. The formation of a local Heritage Response Team (HRT) trained in response planning and salvage, has strengthened the ability of NYC’s and New York state’s cultural community to prepare for and respond to disasters. HRT Training combined aspects of the AIC CERT training, select instructors from the National Park Service, and key safety instruction from representatives from the NYC Office of Emergency Management. In addition to an emergency hotline, the team is assisted by the development of the AFRNYC Response Tool - a software package that tracks the location of constituents, administers the deployment of the HRT members and volunteers using mapping capabilities, and organizes reporting. Over 200 museums, libraries, archives and approximately 500 performing arts organizations and nonprofit galleries will benefit in future emergencies by our understanding their needs better in advance, and training responders to assist them following a disaster. This collaborative approach to protecting our valuable cultural resources can help ensure that our communities can rebound and recover when, not if, disaster strikes.

avatar for Cynthia M. Albertson

Cynthia M. Albertson

Conservator, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Cindy Albertson is conservator the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Previously, she was at the at the Museum of Modern Art, as well as a conservator in private practice at Albertson & Nunan, Inc. She presently serves as project manager for Alliance for Response New York City, a local volunteer... Read More →
avatar for Elizabeth Nunan

Elizabeth Nunan

Co-chair, Alliance for Response New York City
Elizabeth Nunan is currently a conservator at Luca Bonetti Corp, a fine art conservation firm in New York City, as well as one of the principal conservators of Albertson & Nunan, Inc. She has been a member of the Alliance for Response New York City steering committee since 2012, and... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 4:00pm - 4:45pm EDT
Room 516 CD