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The Spokane Heritage and Emergency Preparedness and Response Division (SHEPARD) is a network of museums, libraries, and other cultural heritage organizations whose goal is to provide a place for support, resources, and emergency response for our local organizations. We serve an array of cultural heritage professionals and institutions within Spokane County in eastern Washington to ensure greater protection and preservation of history within the state of Washington. 

Our goals are to provide professional advice and resources to others working with heritage collections, who are working on disaster preparedness plans, or actively responding to emergencies concerning the collections under their care. In cases of active emergencies, we aim to support local institutions by providing additional help when SHEPARD members are available. 

We invite cultural heritage specialists of eastern Washington to get involved by attending our quarterly meetings and planned trainings, workshops, and events. If you are interested in attending the meetings, joining the network, or have any questions, please contact the Steering Committee. 

Steering Committee

Britta Keller Arendt, Museum Registrar, Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga University
Jessica Long, Artifact Collections Curator, Providence Archives
Brooke Shelman Wagner, Museum Collections Curator, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
Rachel Vang, Archive and Collections Manager, STOI Preservation Program



SHEPARD was formed in the spring of 2022, when Britta moved to Spokane after helping to initiate AFR Chicago the previous year. While still in emergency preparedness mode, she consulted with the Seattle Heritage Emergency Response Network (SHERN) to gather Spokane area contacts. That’s when Britta met Jessica, and soon convinced Brooke to join and to represent Spokane County’s largest museum. After several months of sporadic planning, Rachel joined as an active member, and soon was promoted to the steering committee when she created the name of Spokane’s AFR network. SHEPARD continues to be a work in progress, promoting itself to other local heritage organizations, meeting regularly, and offering quarterly emergency preparedness workshops. 

SHEPARD’s Kickoff Forum was held on April 24, 2023, and hosted by the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.