By now, we’ve heard about the success of texting to raise money for Haiti and the emergency funds created by many organizations to rapidly get aid to Port-au-Prince. The speed with which individuals, communities, and organizations mobilized is remarkable. Still, much more needs to be done. Although donating money while reading the headlines and trying not to wince at heartbreaking photographs all over the media might feel like an insignificant effort, the generosity of millions truly adds up. The NY Times has a useful blog post on how to contribute, which is a good starting point for making a donation.
Over the next few weeks and months, I’m sure the arts community in NYC and elsewhere will mobilize to create Haiti benefit concerts and other initiatives to help send emergency aid to Haiti. Artists for Peace and Justice has started Project Haiti, and through its Dance for Haiti initiative, Broadway Dance Center is donating registration fees from certain open classes to The Red Cross’s Haiti Relief Fund. Hopefully other open dance studios will start similar programs. On a larger scale, Lady Gaga announced that January 24th is “Gaga for Helping Haiti Day”. Proceeds from all merchandise purchased at LadyGaga.com on the 24th will go to Haiti earthquake relief, as well as tickets sales and merchandise purchased at her NYC concert that evening.
When a tragedy strikes, it’s inspiring to see artists and arts communities thinking more broadly about their work and how they can help. If you know of other arts initiatives to support Haiti, leave a comment below or email me about it.