Longtime CERF+ staff member Meg Ostrum retired at the end of December but not without heartfelt thanks from her fellow staff members, the CERF+ Board, and her many colleagues who’ve worked with her over the years.
Meg came to CERF+ in 2004 as a planning consultant to assist CERF+ in developing new educational programs and resources to help artists build more resilient careers—in other words, the “+” side of our work. Eventually, she joined the CERF+ staff as Director of Special Projects. Among her many accomplishments during her tenure were: project directing the creation of CERF+’s award-winning Studio Protector: The Artist’s Guide to Emergencies; providing the early vision for and eventually serving on the Steering Committee for the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER); working with former Director of Programs Craig Nutt on the creation of CERF+’s CYA program (Cover Your Art, Assets, Archives) – a curriculum for art school students about career protection; working with writer/curator Mark Leach on the newly released Crafting Your Legacy guide, and related programs, to help artists plan the “afterlife” of their tools and other studio assets; and finally, most recently, creating the vision for a new national network of artist responders who will provide career protection and emergency readiness education, outreach, advice and more in their communities before, during, and after disasters. In fact just days before Meg retired, CERF+ received news from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that she and Deputy Director James Hafferman, had secured a $500,000 planning grant to pilot two such networks over the next 33 months.
“All of us at CERF+ will miss Meg as she moves into the next phase of her life but we are so thankful for her dedicated service and for leaving such an accomplished legacy of programs and services in support of artists’ careers at CERF+,” notes CERF+ Executive Director Cornelia Carey. To honor her legacy, CERF+ has created a new fund, the Meg Ostrum Creating a Living Legacy Fund, which will annually provide two Get Ready Grants of up to $500 for artists to begin the work of planning their legacies. If you’d like to contribute to the fund, click here. If you’d like to learn more about CERF+’s Get Ready Grants click here.