AAAM Conference 2011

Awards luncheon.

AAAM Conference 2011

FAMU reception.

AAAM Conference 2011

John G. Riley House & Museum reception.

AAAM Conference 2011

Keynote Luncheon.

AAAM Conference 2011



North Carolina African American Heritage Commission Introduces Gathering Place Project

Michelle Lanier

This fall through 2014, the outreach efforts of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources will focus on African American museums with a new grant-funded initiative, the Gathering Place Project. Michelle Lanier, Curator of Multicultural Initiatives for North Carolina Historic Sites and Acting Director of the state’s African American Heritage Commission, has designed the project to develop networks between and training opportunities for two groups—cultural heritage practitioners and students at local Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The International Civil Rights MuseumHistoric StagvilleFayetteville State University, and Bennett College will serve as project partners.

The Gathering Place Project, a training and outreach initiative of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, will provide statewide assistance to African American cultural institutions. A series of 12 regional workshops on collections care and museum education concepts will be held at locations throughout the state, reaching over 500 participants. The Gathering Place project is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of staff and volunteers at African American museums. During its two-year duration, the Gathering Place Project will sponsor the regional workshops while targeting workers at cultural heritage institutions with African American subject strengths, as well as students, from North Carolina’s 11 HBCUs, interested in museum collections and interpretation. The project will address three broad categories of challenges facing North Carolina’s African American cultural heritage institutions:

  • Preservation: collection management, object care, sustainable building stewardship, and disaster planning
  • Sharing: interpretation, social media, and exhibits
  • Research: best practices in research and writing, oral history collection and presentation

Schree Greene

The Gathering Place Project represents a new direction for current NC Connecting to Collections staff. Schree Greene will serve as Coordinator of the Gathering Place Project under Lanier’s direction. Greene is a Bennett College graduate and has past experience working with NC Historic Sites and non-profits. She will collaborate with C2C staff by attending fall workshops on preservation and collections management topics. C2C’s project director, LeRae Umfleet has served as grant writer for the project and will continue to administer the grant’s reporting. Umfleet will also participate in workshops as a presenter with expertise in local resources for African American historical research. C2C’s Project Assistant, Michelle Vaughn, will continue workshop scheduling, purchasing, and other administrative duties for Gathering Place Project workshops. The networks of preservation knowledge and interest across North Carolina that C2C has nurtured will be an asset as the Gathering Place Project builds momentum.

North Carolina’s Gathering Place Project was one of 14 successful applicants funded under the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ African American History and Culture category.

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