RCPAC JOINS NATIONWIDE COVID-19 MEMORIAL
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Raleigh joins nationwide movement to honor lives lost to coronavirus pandemic
Posted January 19, 2021 9:47 p.m. EST
By Kirsten Gutierrez, WRAL reporter
Raleigh joins nationwide movement to honor lives lost to coronavirus pandemic
From the Fayetteville Street office towers and Raleigh’s municipal building to the governor's mansion and the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, the color amber was a common theme on Tuesday night as cities and towns across the Triangle joined the nationwide coronavirus memorial.
"She'd be smiling, she'd be laughing," said Hannah Robbins, who lost her mother, Mary Ward, to the virus in November. "I know she'd be crying – she was an emotional person – seeing the community come together."
Ward was one of more than 400,000 people in the U.S. killed by coronavirus.
"It's so baffling how many people lost a family member, who lost a loved one and that numbers keeps rising," said Robbins.
Reneka Colbert lost two of her loved ones last year: her grandmother Una Mae Daye shortly after celebrating her 90th birthday and her uncle Robert Foster.
"That's a lot of people to have lost in just one year from this pandemic," said Colbert.
Colbert explained that the hardest part was not being able to say goodbyes.
"With them passing from COVID, we could not see them at the funeral nor in the casket. They were not embalmed. We were left with that's it, it's over. It feels as if they were discarded as trash, and it hurt, it really hurt," said Colbert.
The memorial gave both families a chance to know that their loved ones aren’t just another number.
"Seeing the community come together in remembrance of her, and all the families that were broken during this time, is just so amazing," said Robbins.
"They had a brightness about them that changed our community, and their light is gone, and it's missed, and it will continuously be missed. It's a void that will not be filled," said Colbert.
Raleigh to Host First-Ever Collegiate Esports National Championship in 2021
Raleigh to Host First-Ever Collegiate Esports National Championship in 2021
Monday, November 09, 2020, 10am
Collegiate Sports Management Group brings event to the Raleigh Convention Center
New York City, NY (Nov. 9, 2020) – Collegiate Sports Management Group (CSMG) announced today it will be hosting the first Collegiate Esports National Championship (CENC) on April 29 through May 2, 2021 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The championship tournament will feature schools from CSMG partners including the ECAC Esports, the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports (NJCAAE) and the High School Esports League (HSEL). After competing all semester, the qualifying teams will compete in Raleigh for a chance to be crowned national champions.
CSMG chose Raleigh as the perfect location for the first national championships as the city has experience in hosting large scale esports events, including the Rainbow Six event in 2019 and the East Coast Game Conference (ECGC) for the past 11 years. The gaming community is strong and vibrant in Raleigh and CSMG is excited to add their championships to the city’s esports portfolio.
“We are delighted to be hosting the Collegiate Esports National Championship here in Raleigh, N.C.,” said Tori Collins, Director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and Co-Chair of the new esports committee Greater Raleigh Esports Local Organizing Committee (GRELOC). “Our area has a long tradition of hosting successful collegiate championships in traditional sports. To be able to celebrate and showcase our globally recognized esports ecosystem supported by local companies such as Epic Games, Ubisoft, Lenovo, Red Hat and others is a win-win for us. Our commitment to esports player’s health and wellness remains paramount, and we along with our local partners are confident we can deliver a world-class event for everyone involved in 2021.”
CENC will include other exciting gaming events highlighted by an NFLA competition featuring former NFL stars and a two-day HBCU Technology Career Fair. The first-of-its kind HBCU Career Fair will bring a brighter focus on the HBCU community and the brilliant students attending HBCU schools within the Raleigh region. This recruiting event will bring companies face-to-face with students seeking career opportunities in the technology industry. The GRELOC in partnership with Subnation, a gaming lifestyle media platform, will look to develop and produce a Fan Festival that celebrates the culture of gaming and lifestyle of esports.
“The Collegiate Esports National Championship will provide schools and colleges along the CSMG pipeline from high school to junior college to 4-year colleges to compete under one roof for the first true esports national championships. This gathering of gamers of all ages will be the highlight of the 2020-2021 collegiate esports season. Brands will be able to connect with the gaming community at our LAN event, through our linear partner, ESTV, and across multiple digital channels,” stated Neil Malvone EVP at CSMG.
ABOUT COLLEGIATE SPORTS MANAGEMENT GROUP
Founded in 2014, CSMG is a College Sports Properties Group that drives the business performance of college athletic conferences and schools, providing them with a successful growth strategy and generating revenue to support their athletic department and initiatives. CSMG specializes in Marketing Rights/Revenue Generation, Content Creation and Distribution, Media Rights Strategy and Negotiation, Sponsorship Sales, Name Image and Likeness Solutions, Licensing, Event Production and Management, Ticketing and Esports. Visit www.collegiatesmg.com for more information.
Neil Malvone, EVP at CSMG
RCC RECEIVES EXHIBITOR MAGAZINE CENTER OF EXCELLENCE 2021
EXHIBITOR Magazine Honors Best North American Convention Centers
Last year, Exhibitor Media Group, which produces both EXHIBITOR magazine and Find It – Marketplace, the buyer’s guide to trade show products and services, announced an initiative to identify and recognize North America’s best convention centers for trade shows and events. Small, medium, and large convention centers located anywhere in North America were invited to apply, and entrants were evaluated using an objective algorithm weighted to reflect how EXHIBITOR magazine readers value a variety of variables. The myriad criteria considered were categorized into five primary areas:
- Facility & Functionality
- Location & Accommodations
- Service & Execution
- Expansions & Upgrades
- Awards & Industry Participation
The evaluation process also included a survey of event planners, show organizers, and exhibit managers who have recently hosted (or exhibited at) events within each facility, as well as a review of entrants’ event spaces, selling points, and innovations, conducted by a panel of corporate exhibit managers.
“While individual exhibit managers rarely have a say in where their trade shows are held, they are often the ones most impacted by that decision. This is their opportunity to give credit where credit is due and celebrate the exhibitor-friendly venues that do their part to make trade shows and events as smooth, successful, and painless as possible,” said Travis Stanton, editor of EXHIBITOR magazine, noting that everything from the number of nearby hotel rooms to the cost and quality of Wi-Fi access can have a significant impact on exhibiting companies’ experience at events. “Simply by virtue of being included in this list, these facilities have proven their ability to host trade shows and events of all shapes and sizes while providing world-class service and state-of-the-art accommodations.”
The highest-scoring venues were named among EXHIBITOR Magazine’s 2021 Centers of Excellence, and they will be featured in an upcoming issue of EXHIBITOR, as well as via an online portal where readers can learn more about each of the 30 facilities that qualified for this honor. The portal, housed within the Find It – Marketplace website, enables face-to-face marketers to quickly and easily research potential event venues and learn more about the convention centers that are hosting the trade shows and exhibitions on their annual calendars.
“The online portal helps to ease the venue-selection process for the 85 percent of our readers who are tasked with overseeing their organizations’ meetings and events in addition to managing their companies’ exhibit-marketing efforts,” said Stanton. “Additionally, exhibitors who are planning to participate in trade shows being held at these facilities can learn more about each venue, including everything from the number of loading bays to the maximum ceiling height within exhibit halls.”
The venues that qualified for EXHIBITOR Magazine’s 2021 Centers of Excellence include:
- Anaheim Convention Center
- Caesars Forum
- Cobb Galleria Centre
- Colorado Convention Center
- Cox Business Convention Center
- Duke Energy Convention Center
- Edmonton Convention Centre
- Edmonton Expo Centre
- Enercare Centre
- Greater Columbus Convention Center
- Greater Tacoma Convention Center
- Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
- Indiana Convention Center
- Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas
- Kentucky International Convention Center
- Los Angeles Convention Center
- Mandalay Bay Convention Center
- McCormick Place
- Minneapolis Convention Center
- Mohegan Sun
- Orange County Convention Center
- Overland Park Convention Center
- Quebec City Convention Center
- Raleigh Convention Center
- Renasant Convention Center
- San Diego Convention Center
- TCF Center
- The Broadmoor Event Center
- Vancouver Convention Centre
- Walter E. Washington Convention Center
In addition to naming North America’s 30 best venues for trade shows and events, EXHIBITOR will be announcing the finalists for six special awards next month, including Best Convention Center in four size-based categories, Best New or Improved Convention Center, and Best Customer Service & On-Site Support. The winners of those awards will be announced during a ceremony held in conjunction with IAEE’s Expo! Expo!
For more information on the Centers of Excellence competition, visit www.ExhibitorOnline.com/Awards/CoE. And for more information on all of the 2021 Centers of Excellence recipients, visit www.ExhibitorOnline.com/FindIt/CoE.asp.
About Exhibitor Media Group
The leader in trade show and corporate event marketing education, Exhibitor Media Group publishes the award-winning EXHIBITOR magazine, a monthly publication featuring best practices in trade show marketing. EXHIBITOR's learning events include: EXHIBITORLIVE, Best Practices in Trade Shows and Events; EXHIBITORFastTrak accelerated learning conferences; and EXHIBITOR eTrak, professional online learning. Exhibitor Media Group is also the founder and sponsor of CTSM (Certified Trade Show Marketer), the industry's only university-affiliated professional certification program. Learn more at www.ExhibitorOnline.com.
EXHIBITOR is a registered trademark, and EXHIBITORLIVE, EXHIBITORFastTrak, and EXHIBITOR eTrak, are trademarks of Exhibitor Publications, Inc. in the USA and other countries. All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated.
RCPAC RECEIVES GBAC STAR™ FACILITY ACCREDITATION
RALEIGH, NC – October 2, 2020 – Raleigh Convention & Performing Arts Complex has announced it has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the Raleigh Convention & Performing Arts Complex has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its venues.
“We’re honored to be the first multi-venue complex in North Carolina to receive GBAC STAR™ accreditation. By working with GBAC, we have ensured that the Raleigh Convention Center, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, and Red Hat Amphitheater have the highest level of cleaning, disinfecting, and infectious disease prevention systems in place,” said Raleigh Convention & Performing Arts Director/GM Kerry Painter. “Our goal is to re-open our doors in the safest manner possible and this achievement is proof of our team’s dedication and hard work.”
As the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR™ helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The program verifies that Raleigh Convention and Performing Arts Complex implements best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.
“GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “By taking this important step to pursue GBAC STAR, Raleigh Convention & Performing Arts Complex has received third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely.”
To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, Raleigh Convention & Performing Arts Complex was required to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Learn more about GBAC STAR accreditation at www.gbac.org.
About Raleigh Convention & Performing Arts Complex
The Raleigh Convention & Performing Arts Complex is home to four pristine venues in Raleigh, North Carolina. Owned and operated by the City of Raleigh, the Raleigh Convention Center, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, and Red Hat Amphitheater are located within a two-block radius in the heart of Downtown Raleigh and welcome approximately one million visitors annually. Nearby, the City of Raleigh-owned Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek welcomes roughly 300,000 people each season.
About GBAC, a Division of ISSA
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more information, visit www.gbac.org.
With more than 9,300 members—including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners and associated service members—ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., USA, the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more information about ISSA, visit www.issa.com or call 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.
Raleigh Venues Prepare to Welcome Crowds
by: Judith Retana
Posted: Oct 2, 2020 / 06:44 PM EDT / Updated: Oct 2, 2020 / 06:56 PM EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)- A sign about a postponed and later canceled event is still posted at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh, but inside, staffers are getting ready for opening day.
Safety measures for the center begin when people walk through the doors.
“We pride ourselves, prior to, on how quickly you could get into the building. Now, it’s going to slow it down a little bit more. [It will take] about 28 seconds now [compared] to 10 seconds before,” said Michelle Bradley, Interim Assistant General Manager.
An non-contact wrist thermometer starts the customer experience at the center. The stand alone, automated device will announce whether your temperature is safe.
Arrival times will be staggered. Patrons will also see more cleaning staff than usual.
“We really try to stay in the background more where now we’re really going to be interfacing with the public,” said Bradley.
In a release, the performing arts center said, “As the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations.”
Cleaning staffers will use heavy duty cleaner chemicals and electronic sprayers. They could be see hitting every table, seat and railing throughout the Duke Energy Center.
“We are now certified in bio-hazard cleaning so it has changed how we think of everything,” said Kerry Painter, director and general manager for the performing arts complex.
Cleaning has become detailed all the way down to the color towel used for each area of the performing arts center.
Customers can expect more prepackaged food and drinks at the concession stands. There will be much less seating throughout the lobby to discourage gathering.
Seating in the auditoriums will be spread out, too. The center will seat people in pods of three or four and keep them separated.
“If you want to sit way far back, we’re OK with that. We’ll get you the seat that makes you feel safest and makes you feel together but separate,” Painter said.
Limited capacities may make it tricky to book talent who are used to big productions. No shows are scheduled just yet at Duke Energy Center.
“One-hundred people is not a great pivot for us to be able to show a lot of things but it’s a good beginning for us,” said Painter.
Meanwhile Duke Energy Center is waiting for their guests to arrive.
“The whole staff is excited. We are looking forward to when we could open those door even for just one patron,” Bradley said.
Entertainment & Convention Centers Release New Safety Guidelines
BY CAROLINE BLAIR CENTRAL NC
PUBLISHED 10:24 AM ET SEP. 04, 2020
RALEIGH N.C. — Entertainment venues like the Raleigh Convention Center and the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts usually play host to hundreds of events and thousands of people every year. However, the coronavirus pandemic has halted everything, leaving the centers empty and struggling financially.
Kerry Painter is the director of the Raleigh Convention & Performing Arts Complex and also leads a coalition of arts and entertainment venues throughout North Carolina. The coalition has been working to create new protocols. She told Spectrum News 1 anchor Caroline Blair in a two-part interview that those new guidelines are essential so that when they’re given the green light from Gov. Roy Cooper, they can properly open back up.
As phase 2.5 gets underway at 5 p.m. Friday, entertainment venues like theaters, performing arts centers, and concert halls are left in the dark. That isn’t keeping Painter and others from working to create a more than 20 point check system that includes how they’ll handle everything from entrance to their venue, food and beverage sales, ticketing, social distancing, and of course cleaning.
Painter says the experience will be different once they’re able to open, but they working to make it safe.
RCC expands sanitation protocols
Raleigh Convention Center Expands Sanitization Protocol and Begins GBAC STAR Accreditation
The Raleigh Convention Center (RCC) has strengthened its commitment to ensuring a safe environment through its pursuit of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, expanding facility cleaning methods and increasing its meticulous catering and food operations.
GBAC STAR is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation program for public and commercial facilities. Its 20 elements establish requirements for facilities to implement the highest standards of work practices, protocols, procedures, and systems to control risks associated with infectious agents, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. RCC will be creating foundational communications for informing all stakeholders around the ongoing and rigorous steps being taken around cleanliness, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. GBAC STAR is administered by GBAC, a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association.
In addition to participating in this prestigious accreditation program, RCC is taking the following measures:
- elevate training for team members
- introduce new, targeted disinfectant solutions including EPA-registered List N Disinfectants, which meet the criteria for use against the SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
- expand the number of sanitizer stations
- establish CDC-recommended employee wellness screenings upon arrival
- require gloves and masks for staff
- increase intensity and frequency of the building’s cleaning and disinfecting.
“Establishing protocol that meets and sometimes exceeds CDC recommendations is our top priority. As excited as we are to reopen our doors, we are adamant about first taking extra precautions to protect our attendees, performers, meeting and event planners, stakeholders and employees,” said Kerry Painter, CFE/CEM/CMP, Director/General Manager of the Raleigh Convention and Performing Arts Complex.
Kerry Painter serves as Chair of NC Live, a coalition providing guidance and best practices across the state for safe reopening of venues and facilities. Leaders of arts and entertainment venues in Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh and Wake County have taken tangible actions to develop procedures to safely welcome back fans to concerts, performances and comedy events in the future. In total, the 18 venues in the coalition received over 3.3 million patrons during more than 2,500 performances in 2019.
About Raleigh Convention Center
The LEED Silver-certified Raleigh Convention Center is a bustling hub for the culture, commerce, and technologies that make the Triangle one of the most admired and sought-after regions in the United States. Its modern 500,000 ft2 facility includes a stunning granite lobby with dramatic windows and downtown views, an elegant 32,000 ft2 ballroom, and a massive 150,000 ft2 exhibit hall, all with outstanding tech amenities and award-winning culinary delights. The center has welcomed over 4.5 million visitors since its opening in September 2008. www.raleighnc.gov
About Global Biorisk Advisory Council
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response, and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance, and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address, and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals, and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more information, visit www.gbac.org.
Kerry Painter on WRAL discussing future after COVID-19
Reporter: Travis Fain
Disasters have a multiplying effect, and a pandemic like COVID-19 has the potential to change our world for decades to come. We speak with some experts in the field of psychology, education, entertainment and urban design about this.
Venues Preparing for Eventual Reopening
Posted June 24, 2020 8:36 p.m. EDT
By Joe Fisher, WRAL multimedia journalist
RALEIGH, N.C. — With Gov. Roy Cooper hitting the pause button on North Carolina's efforts to resume business and social activities during the coronavirus pandemic, it's clear it will be quite a while before area entertainment venues are hosting concerts, plays and other events.
But that hasn't stopped venue managers for preparing for their eventual reopenings.
At the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, social distancing markers are on the ground, plans are in place to bring in machines to take people's temperatures and managers have put together a seating chart for 400 people – 23 percent capacity – to enjoy a symphony concert or a ballet.
"The goal is to space it out so everyone doesn’t walk in the door at the same time," said Kerry Painter, director of the Raleigh Convention and Performing Arts Complex. "It used to take 10 seconds to get people in a concert. Now, it’s going to take 28."
Her estimate includes time to apply hand sanitizer at the door. Shows in Raleigh will likely start at 30 percent capacity, Painter said.
Painter also leads a group that’s developing rules for venues statewide, including the Durham Performing Arts Center, where Broadway hit "Wicked" is planned for October before it moves to Greensboro and Charlotte.
"[The audience] can expect to be asked to wear a mask, because we know sitting next to people for any extended period of time is a hazard," she said.
Durham’s Carolina Theatre and the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro have continued to livestream concerts, with managers questioning whether audiences would even be ready to return right now.
Live Nation has plans for drive-in concerts in St. Louis, Nashville, Tenn., and Indianapolis, and Painter said that's an option for Raleigh once North Carolina's mass gathering restrictions are lifted.
“Five hundred is a lot of people, [but] maybe not when they are managed this way," she said. "They don’t have a lot of autonomy, unlike an open space or a festival."
When live events do return, cleaning will be a top priority.
"It's all going to take more staff – more staff to clean, more staff to consistently check," Painter said.
Raleigh is working towards a seal of approval from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council that will assess how each venue prevents the spread of infectious disease.
"We hope it tells people we have taken all the precautions that science tells us we can," she said.
"If it’s on the lawn, you would have these 12 square feet for your four people, and we would paint it off, and that’s your space," she said.
TBJ - RCC readies for a competitive comeback
By: Connie Gentry
Posted: June 23, 2020
Revenue losses for the Raleigh Convention Center and the city are mounting daily as the convention and events industry was the first to shut down due to the pandemic and will likely be the last to open.
“We’ve lost $80.8 million in direct impact and are down 189,000 attendees at our last count,” said Kerry Painter, director and general manager of the Raleigh Convention Center and Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Best-case scenario, the earliest anticipated reopening will be in the fall and, even then, the complex would likely open in modified stages, with events that can be adequately supported by lower attendance.
As Painter explains, events such as concerts and conventions require large crowds of people. “For a concert to make money, it requires a great capacity of audience. Where the symphony has some performances, like a chamber group, that could be [successful] having 300 to 500 people in a 2,200-seat theater.”
Conventions, which require that many attendees fly in from other areas, will likely be delayed longer. “We’re super busy come 2022, ‘23, and ‘24,” notes Painter, adding that many conferences that had to be canceled this year have moved on to the next date.
It becomes complicated, and even more competitive, because associations and conference groups are often booked years in advance. A conference scheduled for Raleigh this year might have been moved to 2024, she said, simply because that’s the next year in the rotation being planned.
“We were really riding high,” Painter said. “What is a bit of a silver lining: Raleigh is still Raleigh, and Covid has happened to the world, not just us. It isn’t going to change the perception of our location. We were gratefully busy, and many conferences had grown beyond the capacity of our building or the hotels in our city.”
Before the pandemic, the city had been planning to expand the convention center with a hotel and mixed-used project downtown. Now, with no clue how quickly the convention industry will recover, those discussions have slipped to the back burner.
"The convention center hotel and development project has been a priority, but unfortunately with the impact of the pandemic and the hospitality community and the hospitality tax it makes it difficult to move forward at this time," Assistant City Manager Jim Greene said earlier this month.
But that doesn’t mean the convention center is sitting idle. RCC is pursuing accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) to earn the GBAC STAR, which is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation program for public and commercial facilities.
“We’re looking at certification for the entire complex, which would include Red Hat Amphitheater, Duke Energy Performing Arts and the Convention Center,” Painter said. “The application process and accreditation cost approximately $4,000, which covers the three downtown venues.
RCC joins a host of other major venues around the country that are seeking the GBAC STAR certification, including McCormick Place in Chicago, the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and the Las Vegas Convention Center.
RCC expects to learn by late summer or early fall if the complex has received the certification.
“This accreditation is unique in terms of rigor and approach. It examines 20 elements of a venue’s prevention, response and recovery and it is performance-based, requiring proof that you are thoroughly and consistently going above and beyond standard cleaning protocol,” Painter said.
The accreditation is intended not only to make the convention center more competitive in its bid to host events, but also to make attendees, exhibitors, performers and staff feel comfortable and safe.
"Not only will visitors see the changes we’ve made to keep them safe – expanded and increased cleaning, temperature checks, staff wearing masks, and signage on social distancing – but they’ll have peace of mind knowing that an international third-party cleaning association gave us their gold seal of approval," Painter said.
Typically, the RCC hosts 633 events in the theater each year and another 400 events a year at the convention center, many of which run simultaneously. Cleaning and sanitizing are all done by in-house staff, although the volume of events does require a contingency of part-time workers to augment the full-time staff. Reopening may require even more staff.
Painter said the center has been successful in keeping many of the canceled events on the calendar at a later date, and they are considering a range of creative approaches to future events. For instance, some groups have asked if the amphitheater can be used for part of a meeting in order to have a greater capacity outside.
“That’s the beauty of our complex; we have space and viability to move groups around. For most places, when you have to allow a 6-foot social distancing space, there’s not a lot of back-up space, but in our complex there’s a lot of back-up spaces that can be utilized together,” she said.
One of the more interesting requests has been a query about hosting a trade show that would include some product launches, and the people involved are contemplating something along the lines of the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) event held in Austin, Texas.
“We’re exploring possibly doing pods or tents instead of being inside the venue, where you have to direct people around aisle-ways. In this discussion about the SXSW idea, we’re talking about using the Red Hat Amphitheater and maybe the lot across the street. We don’t want to turn it into a festival, because it would be hard to space people on the streets.”
Venues team up to plan safe return of concerts
By Joe Fisher, WRAL reporter
Posted May 19, 2020 9:37 a.m. EDT
The top performing arts venues in Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro and Charlotte are joining forces to plan for the return of concerts, comedy and other touring shows.
The “NC Live” coalition, a group of leaders from 18 venues, will provide a list of best practices to Gov. Roy Cooper to help plan for the safe return of live entertainment in Phase 3. That could happen as soon as June 19.
The group will consider whether and how to implement modifications such as cashless transactions, venue disinfection, staggered fan arrivals and temperature checks and will offer the best practices to all facilities.
Painter said they are considering possibilities like grouping families in seating, then leaving space between, seating people three rows apart or even removing some seating all together.
Painter said she presumes a lot of guests may be in masks. There's a possibility masks could be mandated--but nothing is certain yet.
“It’s a chance for North Carolina to get together and say, ‘What can we all do the same?' What can we all do to make our guests feel protected and safe?” said Kerry Painter, general manager of the Raleigh Convention and Performing Arts Complex.
Painter oversees 1,200 events at a year at four venues including Red Hat Amphitheater, Coastal Credit Music Park at Walnut Creek, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and the Raleigh Convention Center. Many dates have been canceled, but she remains optimistic that the season can be saved with the right precautions.
“I would presume a lot of people will be in masks and it may be mandated. We’re not sure,” Painter said. “We have been looking at everything from Korea to Europe [and] talking to Australia and then all across America many times in a week.”
Painter says separating the audience will be easier than dancers, musicians and other performers.
"Two ballerinas can not do a pas de deux separate. They have to touch,” she said.
Painter says any recommendations will include a decrease in capacity and added measures in the concessions with plexiglass barriers and contactless payment.
Painter says venues will likely need more concession staff to eliminate long lines, more cleaning crews and more restroom attendants.
“All of it is going to cost more money because it takes more bodies,” Painter said. "Everything is going to multiple in cost.”
The NC Live coalition is comprised of: Coastal Credit Music Park at Walnut Creek, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Koka Booth Amphitheatre, PNC Arena and Red Hat Amphitheater in Wake County; Carolina Theatre of Durham, Durham Performing Arts Center and Durham Convention Center; Blumenthal Performing Arts, Bojangles Entertainment Complex, Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Live Nation Carolinas, PNC Music Pavilion and Spectrum Center in Charlotte; and Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts and White Oak Amphitheatre in Greensboro.
NC Venues Team Up to Plan for Return of Concerts, Broadway & Comedy
(Raleigh, NC) May 19, 2020 --- North Carolina is home to many of the largest and most popular arts and entertainment venues in the country, and now industry leaders from many of these facilities are joining together to plan for the return of concerts, Broadway, and comedy events.
The newly formed “NC Live” coalition will provide guidance and best practices to ensure safe reopening of these facilities. The group has an executive committee of representatives from Blumenthal Performing Arts, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Durham Performing Arts Center, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Live Nation Carolinas, Spectrum Center, and Red Hat Amphitheater.
Many patrons visit arts and entertainment facilities across NC each year, among the coalition, 18 of the venues saw over 3.3 million patrons during more than 2,500 performances in 2019.
The temporary suspension of these venues has leaders actively discussing and developing procedures to safely re-open their doors to fans, when the time comes. Specific plans are still in the works but will include venue and fan experience modifications such as cashless transactions, venue disinfection, staggered fan arrival time, and temperature checks. The safety of our artists, fans and staff is our top priority as we move forward to reopening our arts and entertainment facilities.
Full list of NC Live Members:
Charlotte: Blumenthal Performing Arts, Bojangles Entertainment Complex, Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Live Nation Carolinas, PNC Music Pavilion, and Spectrum Center.
Durham: Carolina Theatre of Durham, Durham Performing Arts Center, and Durham Convention Center.
Greensboro: Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, and White Oak Amphitheatre.
Raleigh/Wake County: Coastal Credit Music Park at Walnut Creek, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Koka Booth Amphitheatre, PNC Arena, and Red Hat Amphitheater.
PODCAST RALEIGH FEATURES RCPAC DIRECTOR/GM
Kerry Painter has managed a lot of different event and performing art spaces in a lot of different North American cities. But the chance to run four great, distinctive spaces like Raleigh's Convention Center, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Ret Hat Amphitheater and Coastal Credit Union Music Park are what made coming to Raleigh an opportunity too alluring to turn down. We talked to Painter about her first year managing those four city properties, what's going on there now and what the plans are for the future, including recently revealed plans to add a hotel.
We also talk about the city moving away from CACs, new plans in North Hills and we discuss our Question of the Week: what is your most memorable concert at Red Hat Amphitheater and Coastal Credit Union Music Park?
Special thanks to our sponsor, Steele Residential--check them out for buying, selling or renting!
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Duke Energy Center certified 'sensory inclusive'
Posted October 27, 2019 12:18 p.m. EDT
By Sarah Lindenfeld Hall, Go Ask Mom editor
RALEIGH, N.C. — Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, home to countless N.C. Symphony, North Carolina Theatre, Carolina Ballet and traveling Broadway show performances, is now certified sensory inclusive.
The Duke Energy Center partnered with KultureCity, a national nonprofit that works to make communities better for those with sensory needs, to achieve the certification. KultureCity also has worked with the PNC Arena and N.C. Zoo in North Carolina, along with 350 other venues around the world.
At the Duke Energy Center in downtown Raleigh, the new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests and fans with a sensory issue who attend a performance, according to a press release.
To become certified, medical professionals trained Duke Energy Center staff on how to recognize guests and fans with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation, the release said. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones provided by Puro Sound Labs, fidget tools, and verbal cue cards will also be available to all guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.
Sensory sensitivities are common among those on the autism spectrum. But people with dementia, PTSD and other conditions also can suffer from it, making it difficult to attend live shows with big crowds, loud noises and lighting changes.
It's just the latest venue or group to provide support for those with sensory issues in the Triangle. The Museum of Life and Science also has taken steps to support guests with autism and sensory disorders. Marbles Kids Museum offers evening play for families with kids with special needs every other month and lights up, sound down movie screenings in its IMAX theater twice a month.
Kidzu Children's Museum has hosted sensory-friendly play. And Raleigh Little Theatre, Theatre in the Park, North Carolina Theatre, N.C. Symphony and Durham Performing Arts Center all have worked to provide resources and special performances for families with members on the spectrum. Raleigh Little Theatre will host a sensory performance of its current family production "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown," at 1 p.m., Nov. 9.
For families planning to attend a performance at the Duke Energy Center, they can now download the free KultureCity App to learn about the sensory features are available and where they can access them. The app also offers a social story, which will provide a preview of what to expect while enjoying a performance at the Duke Energy Center.
“To know that you soon will be able to see families attend a performance, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment. Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that the Duke Energy Center is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing," said Dr. Julian Maha, KultureCity's co-founder, in the press release.
DUKE ENERGY CENTER CERTIFIED SENSORY INCLUSIVE LOCATION
RALEIGH, NC (October 25, 2019) — KultureCity has partnered with the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts to make all performances and events that the center hosts to be sensory inclusive. This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests and fans with a sensory issue that visits the Duke Energy Center.
The certification process entailed the staff at the Duke Energy Center being trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those guests and fans with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, and verbal cue cards (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker) will also be available to all guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.
Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of the environment in a venue like the Duke Energy Center. With its new certification, the center is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when attending any event.
Prior to attending an event, families can download the free KultureCity App where one can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a preview of what to expect while enjoying a performance at the Duke Energy Center.
“To know that you soon will be able to see families attend a performance, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment. Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that the Duke Energy Center is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.” Dr. Julian Maha, Co-Founder, KultureCity.
KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs; not just those with Autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created over 350 sensory inclusive venues in 4 countries; this includes special events such as: NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB All Star Weekend. KultureCity has won many awards for its efforts: NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena was a finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award, and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. Recently, KultureCity was awarded one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019 by FastCompany. www.kulturecity.com
About the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Set amongst the backdrop of our Capitol, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts has stood as a historic and cultural focal point in Downtown Raleigh since 1932. It has played host to Broadway classics, rock legends and major political figures while maintaining an emphasis on education of the arts and artists housed within the Raleigh community. With four separate event spaces available, the breadth and depth of events past, present and future has made this Raleigh’s Premier Arts Venue. www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com
Venue Press Contact:
Duke Energy Center
IHEART MEDIA FEATURES NEW RCPAC GM/DIRECTOR
On this week's Around the Triangle, we'll learn about changes at the Raleigh Convention Center. Kerry Painter is the facility's new General Manager; she'll share details about upgrades and a new six-show ticket package.
Four Venues. One Complex.
A Million Moments.
Across our venues, our goal is to create unforgettable moments and we're proud to be recognized by our community and industry leaders for achieving that goal.
DUKE ENERGY CENTER
- Indy Week Best of the Triangle Awards Best Live Theater Venue in the Triangle - Finalist 2018, 2019, 2020
- Midtown Magazine Best of Raleigh Diamond Awards Best Live Theatre - Bronze 2019
- WRAL Voters' Choice Awards Best Performing Arts Venue - 2nd Place Honorable Mention 2018, 2019
- Carolina Parent Readers Favorites Performing Arts - Honorable Mention 2019
- News and Observer Raleigh's Best - #1 Performing Arts 2019
- Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2019
RALEIGH CONVENTION CENTER
- Center of Excellence by EXHIBITOR Magazine - 2021, 2020
- Convention South Most Creative Place to Host a Meeting - 2011
- Convention South Readers’ Choice Award - 3x winner
RED HAT AMPHITHEATER
- INDY Week Best of the Triangle Awards Best Outdoor Music Venue - Finalist 2020
- INDY Week Best of the Triangle Awards Best Outdoor Music Venue - Winner 2019, 2018, 2015, 2013
- Midtown Magazine Best of Raleigh Diamond Awards Live Music Venue - Winner 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015
- WRAL Voters’ Choice Awards Live Music Venue - Winner 2020
- WRAL Voters’ Choice Awards Live Music Venue - Finalist 2019, 2018
COASTAL CREDIT UNION MUSIC PARK AT WALNUT CREEK
- INDY Week Best of the Triangle Awards Best Outdoor Music Venue - Finalist 2020
- Midtown Magazine - Best of Raleigh Diamond Awards - Best Live Music Venue - Bronze 2019, 2016
- WRAL Voters’ Choice Awards Live Music Venue - Runner Up 2020