CERF+ Artists’ Relief Exchange: A New Tool to Help You Assist Sandy-affected Artists
11/7/2012 12:00 AM
Almost since its founding 26 years ago, CERF+ has been hearing from artists that they would like to donate tool and supplies to help other artists who are coping with an emergency. (I think we all have perfectly good things in the studio that we no longer need, but just have not been able to let go!) However, the logistics and staff time required to manage donations like these has always out of the reach of CERF+’s small staff. Fast forward to the present, internet-enabled time, and such an artist-to-artist exchange is now practical.
Last year, in the wake of Hurricane Irene we heard about an exchange that was put together on the fly by Seth Beck, an internet developer in Vermont. The VTResponseExchange was an instant success, connecting offers of help with recovery needs. When the immediate response to Irene wound down, we contacted Seth and Les Snow and I began working with him to create a similar tool to allow artists to connect nationally. We were about ready to begin testing when Hurricane Sandy hit. Rather than wait, we have released a Beta version of the CERF+ Artists’ Relief Exchange in hopes that it will provide a channel for artists to help one another during this terrible disaster. Here is how it works:
The Exchange has two main sections:
1. Giving — Here you can post items you have available to donate to another artist. This could be tools, equipment, supplies, office equipment, a pair of helping hands, mentoring, an offer to share studio space, anything an artist may need. This must be offered for free, nothing may be sold on the Exchange. You can indicate whether you will pay to ship or deliver the item, or if the recipient needs to pick up or pay for shipping.
2. Needed — This is a place to briefly tell about your emergency and what you need to get back to work. This could be things you lost – household or studio items, or it could be that you need some people to help with cleanup and salvage.
Both Needed and Giving items are listed on the opening view, but you can use the menu to view one or the other. For example, you will want to check back periodically to see what new needs have been posted. There are filters for limiting what displays (type of item, location, etc.), and you can also switch between the default “grid” view and a “list” view.
Like Craigslist® or Freecycle®, you must register before posting so we can confirm that it is a human being with an actual email address making the post. During the registration you can indicate whether you want to receive email from CERF+. I encourage you to allow this, so we can send you emergency updates and our monthly preparedness tips. CERF+ does not sell email addresses and usually does only a monthly mailing, unless there is a good reason, such as a disaster.
Your email address will not be posted on the Exchange. Initial inquiries to your posts will be handled through the Exchange, and you can remove the post at any time. After you have received a response, it is up to you and the respondent to work out the details of the exchange. Remember, this is intended as a free exchange and no money should change hands. We do not anticipate that anyone will attempt to use the exchange for personal profit, but if someone asks for money, you should report that to CERF+.
Since the Exchange is brand new, we are in need of Giving offers, so there will be items available when Sandy survivors begin visiting the Exchange. If you encounter any problems or have suggestions, email us. For the time being, we ask that Needed postings be limited to artists who are recovering from Sandy-related losses. In the future we envision opening the CERF+ Artists' Relief Exchange to artists with any emergency, and maybe eventually even for non-emergency needs.
1 comment(s) so far...
By Ann Thompson on
11/8/2012 7:21 AM
Re: CERF+ Artists’ Relief Exchange: A New Tool to Help You Assist Sandy-affected Artists
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Interested in hearing from anyone in need of temporary housing for the winter!
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