Introducing the 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 Museum, Historic Stagville, Fayetteville State University, and Bennett College will serve as project partners.

During its two-year duration, the Gathering Place Project will sponsor regional workshops 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 begin next week 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 the state that C2C has nurtured will be an asset as the Gathering Place builds momentum.

North Carolina’s Gathering Place Project was one of 14 successful applicants for Institute of Museum and Library Services’ African American History and Culture funds. For a list of all projects receiving this category of funding, see


About collectionsconversations

This blog will contain posts from the C2C project staff on a variety of topics related to collections care and disaster preparedness. Enjoy the posts and let us know if you would like additional information or have a topic you would like for us to address.

Posted on September 7, 2012, in collections access, collections care, Connecting to Collections, historic sites, museums, workshops and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Ms. Greene, I am writing in regards to North Carolina facts I discovered about Jacob Harris, born around 1803, a free man of color who was a tradesman in Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina. He was the We would like to donate a copy of our book, JOSEPHINE to your history collection. Our organization is Friends of Josephine Pankey.

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