Recent Opportunities


Heritage Emergency and Response Training (HEART)

Dates: December 10–14, 2018
Place: Washington, DC
Application deadline: October 9, 2018

Organized by: Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (SCRI) and FEMA’s Office of Environmental Planning & Historic Preservation (OEHP), co-sponsors of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF)

With generous funding from: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

In 2017 SCRI hosted the inaugural Heritage Emergency and Response Training (HEART) for 25 participants selected from a range of museums, libraries, archives, and emergency management organizations representing 21 states and the Territory of Puerto Rico. In March and June of 2018, HENTF brought HEART to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, respectively. Previously, SCRI has also successfully supported and hosted this type of training for international participants as part of its six-year partnership with ICCROM and the Prince Claus Fund for the First Aid for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC) training program.

With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, HENTF has created this training opportunity for U.S.–based professionals to gain skills and experience in disaster response for cultural heritage. HEART combines the important principles of the internationally recognized FAC training model with context-specific information for a U.S. audience. The goals are to improve U.S. disaster response at the institutional level, strengthen existing networks, and connect participants to the wider international “First Aider” network of people trained to document and protect cultural heritage in times of crisis. Participants will learn to be proactive yet sensitive to human needs, respectful of local context, and, after completing their training, ready to support measures to protect cultural heritage in their own communities.

The Training Structure

The course consists of three parts. Accepted applicants will be required, before the start of the program, to complete FEMA’s online course “Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS 100),” as well as selected pre-course readings. Participants will travel to Washington, DC, for a week of hands-on training at the Smithsonian Institution from December 10–14, 2018. Sessions will provide realistic, hands-on training in damage assessment, rapid documentation, emergency evacuation and salvage, rehousing and storage, crisis communication, team building, and more. In 2019, a five-part webinar series will build upon the in-person training, reinforcing concepts covered in the December training.

Expected Outcomes
At the end of the training, participants will be able to:

  • Assess and manage risks to cultural heritage in emergency situations
  • Explore the values associated with cultural heritage and the impact that disasters (natural and man-made) have on these values
  • Improve existing disaster plans at their organization or agency, or on behalf of other organizations or agencies
  • Take preventive actions to reduce disaster risk and improve response
  • Secure, salvage, and stabilize a variety of cultural materials
  • Train and manage a response team to implement effective actions during crises that affect cultural heritage
  • Communicate successfully with the various actors, including the media, involved in an emergency response
  • Identify relevant programs and services that can assist cultural heritage organizations in the event of a disaster
  • Understand how first aid for cultural heritage supports recovery in affected communities and how it fits into the National Planning Frameworks

Travel, Accommodations, and Living Expenses

There is no fee for participating in this training. Thanks to generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, lodging expenses for all selected participants will be covered. Lunch will be provided during the in-person training; however, participants will be expected to cover the rest of their meal costs, all incidental expenses, and local travel. Please note that participants will also be expected to cover travel to and from DC. SCRI has limited travel funds available to subsidize travel costs; you will be able to request an amount once selected for the program.

Who should apply?

Selection of participants will be made on a competitive basis. The course team will select 25 participants from cultural heritage and first responder/emergency management organizations or agencies who work in the United States, U.S. territories, or Indian Country. Since the successful recovery of heritage collections is based on collaboration among many different types of professionals, the goal of HEART is to train a group with diverse backgrounds. Therefore both cultural heritage professionals and first responder/emergency management professionals are encouraged to apply for the training.

We seek heritage professionals who:

  • Work at or for a cultural heritage institution that has a disaster plan for collections and that supports training in disaster planning/cultural heritage protection;
  • Might have previously faced an emergency situation that called for an immediate response to safeguard cultural heritage, whether at their own institution or assisting another;
  • Are emerging leaders with 3–5 years’ experience in collections care/cultural heritage protection; and/or
  • Are actively engaged in professional or heritage-related associations.

We seek first responders and emergency managers who:

  • Might have responded to an emergency situation that called for an immediate response to safeguard cultural heritage;
  • Are motivated to increase their knowledge of the concerns and priorities of cultural stewards;
  • Are eager to share what they learn at this training with their colleagues; and/or
  • Want to bolster their understanding of how cultural heritage can help communities recover and become more resilient following a disaster, and how their collaboration with cultural stewards contributes to this effort.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
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