CERF+ has activated the CERF+ Artists’ Relief Exchange to connect artists in need of help with offers of assistance. This new online mechanism for donations can be accessed at exchange.craftemergency.org or through the Studio Protector website.
Tools, household items, and offers of volunteer help with clean up can be listed. Artists can also post specific needs on the Exchange. Goods and services listed on the CERF+ Artists’ Relief Exchange must be offered for free. In the spirit of the Exchange, it is expected that items received will not be sold, but rather, relisted or passed on to another artist when they are no longer needed.
“We encourage artists and art supporters to list items immediately so that they will be available when artists affected by the storm begin their recoveries,” said CERF+ Director of Programs, Craig Nutt. “Donors, however, should check back frequently to see what artists are requesting to get back on their feet.”
CERF+ patterned this new service after the VT Exchange, which was created after Tropical Storm Irene ravaged Vermont in 2011. “We contacted the web developer who designed it and began work on a tool to serve artists nationally,” said Nutt. “Artists are always ready to step forward to help other artists. Everyone has serviceable tools, supplies, or machines in the studio that they no longer need. Donating them through the Exchange is a great way to recycle and make a big difference at a critical time.”
To those who are familiar with listing tools like Freecycle® and craigslist®, the CERF+ Artists’ Relief Exchange should feel familiar, the main differences being that the Exchange is a nationwide listing and that it focuses on emergency needs of artists.
For the immediate future, the Exchange will be used to assist survivors of this devastating storm. “Down the road, we envision extending its use to aid artists with personal emergencies and needs on an ongoing basis,” said Nutt.