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Haitian Earthquake Crisis: Figge Art Museum Responds (and how to help)

Sean O’Harrow of the Figge Art Museum, during my visit last April

The Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA, which owns a large Haitian art collection, has announced that it will donate to the Red Cross, for Haitian earthquake relief, all of its admissions revenue for this week (through Sunday).

“We would like to publicly challenge other art institutions to
contribute to the Haiti effort,” Sean O’Harrow, the Figge’s
director, told me.

In the museum’s official announcement, O’Harrow stated:

We use art from other cultures, such as Haiti, to educate our community about the world. If our Haitian collection helps raise awareness and support, we are doing our job. Now is the time to give something back.

We realize it will takes years for Haiti to recover. We hope to use the art collection and other initiatives to remind people that support requires an ongoing effort.

After next week, museum programs will continue to support relief efforts in Haiti. We will exhibit a number of works from the Haitian collection, offer related programming, and continue to take donations for the Red Cross.

I have not yet heard of any coordinated efforts by visual-arts professionals to assist in the recovery, although J. Patrice Marandel, chief curator of European art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has asked fellow members of the Association of Art Museum Curators for suggestions about how the organization might help.

Professionals in the performing arts seem to be more organized, as Philip Boroff of Bloomberg reports. My ArtsJournal blogging colleague, Howard Mandel, has a round-up of the jazz community’s response.

If CultureGrrl readers want to step up to the plate, here’s CNN’s list of organizations to which you can send donations for Haitian relief.

an ArtsJournal blog