The Art of Mass Gatherings in North Carolina

The State of the State of NC’s Mass Gatherings

This capstone online event discussed the Art of Mass Gatherings experiences across North Carolina. It provided a final opportunity for participants from our statewide program and new faces alike to converge and share insights, expand networks, and trade cultural assets. We picked up the threads of our Art of Mass Gatherings conversations and weaved together the knowledge we’ve gained throughout our shared experience this past year and a half. 

The State of the State of NC’s Mass Gatherings

Takeaways from industry pros

Lessons on how to host a resilient gathering from event producers & professionals across the state.

Breakout networking session

Reconnect with participants from our NC Art of Mass Gatherings events or meet new colleagues in our community breakout sessions.

Share cultural assets

Make sure you and your organization are on our map of North Carolina arts & cultural assets. Learn more about our approach to community asset mapping.

Unlock resources

From event checklists to accessibility worksheets, speaker slides, and more, explore all the materials from our statewide program!

We are currently working on adding captions to the video. Check back soon!


An introduction to The Art of Mass Gathering from the Majestic Collaborations team and Catherine Swain from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

11:00 am


Jennifer Pickering from the LEAF Festival synthesizes her learnings from The Art of Mass Gatherings

Jennifer Pickering is the founder and Executive Director of LEAF Global Arts, which is a non-profit organization, building community, connecting cultures and enriching lives through the arts – locally and globally – with festivals, community events, and arts education programs. More about Jennifer

11:15 am

Event Planners Panel

Key takeaways from North Carolina event planners who have participated in the Art of Mass Gatherings in North Carolina

11:30 am

The Future of Our Arts + Events Workforce

What is a Mass Gathering Specialist, and how can 4 pillars thinking enhance earning/thriving/response/recovery?

12:15 pm

Government Panel

Learn more about initiatives increasing resilience in the state of North Carolina, from Hometown Strong to support programs for rural arts & cultural workers to statewide plans to built reservist & responder programs. Featuring key case studies from Asheville and Raleigh’s emergency response initiatives.

View recorded remarks from Thomas Whalen, Safety Director of the NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources:

12:30 pm

Arts + Cultural Asset Mapping

Our Arts & Cultural Asset Maps document the physical infrastructure, capacities, and knowledge stewarded by local arts, culture, and event industries. It helps identify tangible and intangible arts and cultural resources worth protecting and also maps how local people and organizations can contribute to community resilience, especially as places seek to fortify themselves against natural disasters. Learn more about our approach and join us at this session for hands-on mapping & networking!

1:05 pm

Next Steps

Learn what’s in store for the Art of Mass Gatherings (AoMG) and North Carolina creative resilience. Plus, grab your certificate to recognize the NC AoMG events you’ve been part of!

1:45 pm

Links & Resources

Check out various links, organizations, and ideas shared by participants during the webinar! E-mail if you have something to add.

In these times of rising inequality, consider bringing on Equity Sponsors to increase access to your event!

There are several great crowd safety training programs. Someone shared the IAVM Trained Crowd Manager training ($50 completely online cert). The Event Safety Alliance regularly hosts in-person crowd safety trainings.

Looking to improve your site or event’s accessibility? The LEAD Conference (Leadership Exchange in Arts & Disability) is a global leader in accessibility. Or connect with LEAD year-round!

Arts Access NC provides opportunities for disabled artists.

Volunteers need wayfinding, too. What is your communications and training process for them? Volunteers need to be able to ensure their own safety, as well as take responsibility for the safety of attendees.

FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is responsible for providing assistance to people affected by natural disasters and emergencies in the United States. In FY 2023, FEMA has allocated $800 million for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program and $1 billion for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program 1. These two competitive mitigation grant programs provide funding to states, local communities, tribes, and territories to address high-level future risks to natural disasters such as wildfires, drought, hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme heat, and increased flooding to foster greater community resilience and reduce disaster suffering 1. The application period for these grants is open from Oct. 16, 2023 – Feb. 29, 2024. Learn more or apply.