Contact The NJ State Council
on the Arts
Mailing Address:
NJ State Council on the Arts
P.O. Box 306
Trenton, NJ 08625-0306

Office Address:
225 West State Street, 4th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608

Tel: (609) 292-6130
NJ Relay: 711

I'm Ellen Korpar, and for the next year I'll be working as New Jersey's Emergency Preparedness Consultant (EPC). Simply put, that means if you're with a New Jersey performing arts organization and you want to make sure you're prepared for emergencies of all kinds, in all the ways you should be, I want to help you - for free.

My work in New Jersey is made possible by the Performing Arts Readiness project (PAR), a national initiative focused on strengthening preparedness efforts of the performing arts sector. We believe preparedness is the key to resiliency, and resiliency means our treasured cultural resources and venues can continue to contribute to communities in the vital ways we've all come to except.

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts is a founding partner in the PAR project, and my host for the year. Together we will work to support performing arts organizations of all sizes, and in all disciplines, providing one-on-one consulting and planning services to group trainings, and everything in between. If I haven't met you yet, please feel free to be in touch!


PS - Look for this brief note from me every month!

Is your performing arts organization prepared for emergencies and disasters? In the past few years, we've witnessed an increase in both natural and man-made disasters throughout the United States. Just in the past few weeks we've witnessed two of the most destructive natural disasters our country has ever seen. Details of the fallout from both storms are still coming in, but we know the Arts District in Houston was overwhelmed by flooding and more, and is dealing with debilitating damages to materials and infrastructure vital to their operations.

Emergencies do not discriminate; the unexpected natural or man-made disaster can happen in any community, at any time. So l'd like to use this nationally dedicated month to ask you to take a pause, and ask yourself a question: Are your staff and volunteers prepared to handle any type of hazard? What would threaten the continuity of your operations and are you equipped to recover fast?

Some things to consider:
  • One of the first things is to make sure of is that your staff and volunteers have plans for securing the safety of loved-ones.  In the event of a community disaster, if the staff is concerned about their family's safety, they will not be in the right frame of mind to assist with the recovery of the organization.
  • Make a kit of emergency supplies that include water, food, clothes and a sleeping bag.
  • Make a plan for what you will do in an emergency. Consider developing a communications plan/phone tree. How will you contact family, staff, etc.? Also, create a plan to shelter-in-place as well as evacuation plan.
  • Be Informed. Learn how to prepare to react in all types of emergencies: natural, man-made, and other. Getting staff trained in CPR and First Aid is not always a legal requirement for every organization, but it's always a good idea.
  • Get involved in preparing your community, after preparing yourself and your organization for possible emergencies.
  • How will you get your organization up and running as soon as possible after a disaster strikes? Have you identified the crucial functions of your organization that will need to be functioning after a disaster?
Every organization is unique, but the basics for most of us are the same. Here are some resources to help you learn more:

Performing Arts Readiness Project -
Business Preparedness -
Individual Preparedness -

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, and competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about the Council, visit 

The Performing Arts Readiness project was formed in the recognition that performing arts organizations are especially vulnerable to disasters and emergencies that can halt performances, and can put an organization out of business overnight. This multi-year project was launched in January of 2017 through a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Project Partners bring together knowledge of the performing arts field and expertise in emergency preparedness. Learn more about the free services, information and support PAR provides, visit