Hurricane Sandy tore through the eastern shoreline in late October 2012 affecting millions of people from several countries including the United States. It is estimated that roughly 8 million people from South Carolina to Maine lost power. We have all seen images of the devastating impact, know friends who were affected, and some of us were personally affected.

As arts leaders and emerging arts leaders we are often caught up in the world of ticket sales, budgets, concerts, exhibits, fundraising, etc. and like so many others we do not expect to have to deal with disasters such as Hurricane Sandy. But what happens when there is a hurricane such as Hurricane Sandy? How does it affect the arts and the artist?

As a jazz trombonist, when thinking about these questions I immediately thought of the many older jazz musicians many of whom are 70+ years old living in New York and New Jersey. How did they deal Hurricane Sandy? In addition to suffering from power outages, and lack of food, many jazz musicians lost gigs because the clubs were closed and also suffering from power outages.

In response to Hurricane Sandy many organizations have rallied around the artist affected by the storm. One organization particular is the Jazz Foundation of America. Immediately following Hurricane Sandy the Jazz Foundation of America started collecting donations for food and water which they personally delivered to elder jazz/blues musicians stuck in their home due to the storm. Their dedication to this particular group of artist is very important. What other organizations do you know of that are helping artists in the wake of Sandy? How can we all help make a difference? And How can we begin to plan now for future natural disasters?

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