ArtsFairfax invites Emergency Responders and Event Organizers to a one-day workshop

ArtsFairfax invites Emergency Responders and Event Organizers to a one-day workshop

ArtsFairfax invites Emergency Responders and Event Organizers to a one-day workshop

ArtsFairfax invites Emergency Responders and Event Organizers

to a one-day workshop

Creative Resilience: The Art of Mass Gatherings in Northern Virginia

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Experiential essential skills training for event producers and emergency professionals to prepare for safe, accessible, and sustainable gatherings

Fairfax County, VA – Safe, equitable, accessible, and sustainable event execution is the focus of the Creative Resilience: The Art of Mass Gathering in Northern Virginia experiential workshop at McLean Community Center on Saturday, October 2, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ArtsFairfax is hosting the event in partnership with McLean Project for the Arts, Majestic Collaborations, and Performing Arts Readiness. The event is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is free to the public. Registration is required at

Expert guests will present how gatherings can be elevated by incorporating the four pillars of a successful event – “safety, accessibility, sustainability, and community engagement” – into their event planning.  Visit for speaker announcements.

Through creative resilience, workshop participants will learn how to:

  • Restart your event safely in a covid environment
  • Implement innovative strategies to make your event environmentally sustainable
  • Open your event to all audiences by making it more accessible
  • Prepare for unexpected emergencies that today are more routine than unusual
  • Build a local network to help prepare and respond to emergencies.

“With over 100 festivals in Fairfax, we want to support the highest standards of event design and planning for our residents and visitors as they experience our diverse cultural opportunities,” said Linda S. Sullivan, ArtsFairfax President & CEO. “We hope this workshop helps organizations across the region as they review and rebuild their process for producing festivals and events.”

The public Saturday event is held in conjunction with a Sunday experiential learning session for 50 local event producers who will attend a series of workshops and a hands-on tour of MPAartfest.

Attendees will be required to wear a mask during the workshop and provide proof of vaccination or a 48-hour negative COVID test.

About the Program

The Art of Mass Gatherings is an initiative of Majestic Collaborations that uses festivals as classrooms to activate an arts-focused approach to resilience and emergency preparedness. “People who set up festivals are skilled at creating temporary cities with all of the necessary infrastructure such as water, waste, power, and structures,” explains Matt Kowal, co-founder of Majestic Collaborations along with Molly North. “By sharing their knowledge and building skills in these areas, artists and event workers create more inclusive events, expand the safety and resilience of their entire communities, and become qualified for a wide range of job opportunities both in and outside of the arts.”

Thanks to the Performing Arts Readiness project (PAR) with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fairfax workshop is available at no cost to participants. This year, the event is one of seven around the country that falls under the Art of Mass Gatherings for Performing Arts experiential education series, a collaboration between PAR and Majestic Collaborations. Tom Clareson, program director of PAR, adds, “There are myriad concerns that event producers and attendees need to consider in their work. We hope to help build capacity for our creative communities to adapt and respond if they are impacted by an emergency, disaster, or long-term changes in climate in the near future.”

Host Committee

The event is made possible thanks to the support of Northern Virginia’s leading organizations coming together with a goal of strengthening arts events and building a network of artists and event organizations across our region. The host committee represents organizations across the region with representation from Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria:

Arlington Arts

City of Alexandria

Celebrate Fairfax

McLean Community Center

Visit Alexandria

Workhouse Arts Center

About the Partners

ArtsFairfax is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, incorporated in 1964, as Fairfax County’s designated local arts agency. ArtsFairfax is funded in part by Fairfax County, corporations, foundations, individuals, Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit

McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) is one of the mid-Atlantic region’s most respected contemporary visual arts organizations. MPA provides high-quality art exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, educational programs, art classes. MPAartfest, summer art camps and ArtReach, an award-winning program serving students in grades k-12, seniors, and individuals with special needs. For more information, visit

Majestic Collaborations works directly with arts organizations and agencies to address environmental and humanitarian concerns with art, culture, design and planning through training, consulting, advising, and experiential learning. Their experiential learning program, The Art of Mass Gatherings, and workforce development advocacy initiative The Art of Creative Resilience recognize that many of the skills and resources that artists and event workers possess align with the needs of communities when it comes to building local resilience and responding to crises more equitably. Learn more at

Performing Arts Readiness helps performing arts organizations nationwide learn how to protect their assets, sustain operations, and be prepared for emergencies. Its work brings together knowledge of the performing arts field and expertise in emergency preparedness from both the performing arts and cultural heritage communities to conduct community outreach and engagement, sponsor grants, and develop and share informational resources to help support performing arts organizations in developing safety and preparedness plans. Learn more at

Majestic Collaborations Press Kit



Caption: Colorado residents engage in a hands-on experience to protect mass gathering audiences presented by Majestic Collaborations. Photo Credit: Majestic Collaborations