ARCS Emergency Workshop Series


11/2/2021 2:00 PM–4:00 PM
Zoom Webinar
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Collection Emergencies are a common occurrence at cultural institutions ranging in type, scope, and severity. Emergencies will continue to increase as climate changes, aging buildings, and reduced funds put a strain on our institutions. During this five-part workshop series, Registrars, Collection Specialists, and other Museum Professionals will be presented with in-depth training on collections emergency preparedness and response. 

Each session is taught by a cultural heritage professional who has experience in the area of emergency and preparedness. The topics have been specifically chosen to give you tools for moving forward in preparing for an emergency.


  • Irene Karsten, Senior Preventive Conservation Advisor, Canadian Conservation Institute
  • Samanatha Forsko, Director of Collections, Art Institute of Chicago
  • Stacy Bowe, Program Coordinator, Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative
  • Rebecca Kennedy, Collections Care Specialist, Curae Collections Care, LLC
  • Nicole Grabow, Midwest Art Conservation Center
  • Becky Fifield, Head of Collection Management, New York Public Library


Webinar One: Mitigation and Preparedness
September 7, 2021 2:00pm-4:00pm ET

  • Risk Management and Assessments: Cultural institutions should be comfortable and compliant at completing and interpreting risk assessments. A risk assessment should help the institution truly identify the risks to their collection, including historic structures. This training will cover risk assessment materials that provide a shortcut to assessing emergency risks for the specific purpose of emergency plan development. Instructor: Irene Karsten
  • Emergency Planning and Emergency Kit: Planning for emergencies can often feel overwhelming for individuals and institutions. This section will provide information on assessing risk as a way to begin planning for emergencies as well as some simple steps to begin the process of comprehensive emergency planning. Instructor: Samantha Forsko

Webinar Two: Initial Response
September 21, 2021 2:00pm-4:00pm ET

  • Re-Entry and Safety: The urge to run into an emergency situation can be overwhelming. Setting up re-entry protocols and specific safety needs when working with collections ensure a safe work situation for people and collections. Learn about the health and safety risks common in collection emergencies and how to respond safely. Instructor: Stacy Bowe
  • Utilizing Damage Assessments: Damage assessments gather information to appropriately respond to an emergency. This training will focus on the different types of damage assessments and how to use that document to gather resources, build a team, and respond effectively. Instructor: Stacy Bowe

Webinar Three: Technical Response
October 5, 2021 2:00pm-4:00pm ET 

  • Evacuation and Working with Responders: A well organized evacuation can protect collections and ensure a faster recovery following an emergency. This training will explain the best evacuation techniques and give some case studies to better ensure understanding. This will be coupled with a brief discussion on working with Responders. Almost every emergency requires the assistance of some sort of responders, whether it is inside the institution, emergency first responders, or unlikely partners. The training will discuss how to identify these responders and what benefit they serve the institution. Instructor: Becca Kennedy
  • Emergency Documentation: Documenting the incident and object movement during an emergency can feel daunting. Learn tips, tricks, and techniques for continuing to document according to industry standards during an emergency and prevent dissociation. Instructor: Becca Kennedy

Webinar Four: Salvage Q&A
October 19, 2021 2:00pm-4:00pm ET

  • Required youtube videos and readings on salvage, long-term drying, and mold remediation will be provided to participants in order to set a baseline before joining this two hour question and answer period. Industry experts, along with the ARCS Emergency Sub-Committee will be present to answer any questions, provide real-life case studies, and encourage collections stewards and registrars to be active participants in collection emergencies. Guest Q&A Moderator: Nicole Grabow, MACC Conservator

Webinar Five: Recovery & Resilience
November 2, 2021 2:00pm-4:00pm ET

  • Establishing Training Methods: Holding regular trainings at an institution builds confidence in staff as responders and improves technical skills. While training is an excellent form of preparedness it also offers opportunities for resilient recovery. This training will focus on what types of trainings are encouraged as well as how to execute them. Instructor: Becky Fifield
  • Institutional Buy-in for Emergency Preparedness: While it seems natural that time, money, and capacity should be given to emergency preparedness, it is common to struggle with buy-in from administrators. Learn skills and strategies for building buy-in at your institution offering resiliency to a cultural institutions recovery and long-term mitigation. Instructor: Becky Fifield


Member Type    per webinar  All 5 webinars


 Membership Fees (if applicable)   $25.00 USD  $100.00 USD
New Members*  Membership Fees  $25.00 USD  $100.00 USD
Non-Members    $35.00 USD  $150.00 USD

Registration for this event is closed. For more information please contact

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The mission of ARCS is to represent and promote registrars and collection specialists, to educate the profession in best practices of registration and collections care, and to facilitate communication and networking.

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