In Nov. 2021 after ten years of our evolving mission and impact, we changed our name to Gathering Ground. You may still find reference to our old name Creative New Jersey in posts created prior to Nov. 2021.

Creative New Jersey: Catch the Wave of Atlantic City’s Creative Spirit

Originally posted on the Geraldine R. Dodge Blog.

Atlantic City and its iconic boardwalk has been one of New Jersey’s – and the East Coast’s – greatest attractions, and has long inspired its residents and visitors. However today, Atlantic City is facing myriad challenges amidst a rapidly changing landscape. While there is no silver bullet, we believe that creativity plays an important role in solving social and economic challenges.

For me and many of our Creative New Jersey team members and participants, we believe that the underlying principle behind all educational, technological, scientific, and cultural advancement is creativity, and that creative thinkers bring about tremendous insights and progress for the human race.Think: Steve Jobs, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci and Wangari Maathai. By championing creative thinking and establishing the conditions for collaboration among diverse groups of people, our work fosters creativity, advances dialogue, builds leaders, and weaves networks of individuals, who are thinking innovatively and creatively about social and economic solutions to their community challenges.


For the past several months, our Creative New Jersey team has been engaged with a diverse group of passionate, creative and civic-minded individuals from Atlantic City. We have worked alongside these committed leaders in building a Creative Host Team that is leading the way forward in fostering creativity and innovation for Atlantic City’s residents, business owners, and visitors.

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Our Creative Team is now preparing to launch the Creative Atlantic City:  Call to Collaboration — a two-day city-wide meeting with approximately 150 individuals representing a highly diverse group of people from throughout Atlantic City and beyond – people who have a stake in the future prosperity and sustainability of AC.

The central guiding question for this meeting is “How can we collaborate to build community esteem, foster an innovative, entrepreneurial spirit, and attract more residents and investment in order to create a thriving Atlantic City?”

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1024px-Atlantic-Jersey_Wind_FarmOur Atlantic City Creative Team is a powerhouse with an infectious spirit transcending doubt and limitation.

“This is an exciting time in Atlantic City,” team member Ken Mosca from Atlantic City Electric said. “The opportunity to collaborate with so many who support and believe in the rebirth of the city is inspiring.”

And Michael Cagno from the Noyes Museum agreed.

“This is the right time for the community to come together as one family and to be a part of the transformation efforts of Atlantic City,” he said.

Creative Atlantic City’s Call to Collaboration is scheduled for February 23 – 24, and takes place at the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton College on Fairmount Avenue.

If you would like to receive an invitation to attend the Call to Collaboration or want to recommend individuals whom you think should be invited, please send us an email at You can also visit Creative New Jersey’s website for more information on this Call to Collaboration and how you can join the statewide movement.

Get involved and catch the creative wave that is making its way through Atlantic City!

The Creative Atlantic City Host Team includes:  Michael Cagno, Noyes Museum & The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton College; Chuck Chiarello, Mayor, Buena Vista Township; Diane DeLuca, Atlantic City Ballet; Allan Doerr, Caesars Entertainment; Michael Epps, The Epps Law Firm P.A.; Joyce Hagen, Atlantic Cape Community College; Sidney Hargro, Community Foundation of South Jersey; Sharon Harrington, Casino Control Commission; Pam James, Atlantic City Housing Authority; Bert Lopez, Hispanic Alliance of Atlantic City; Wendy Liscow, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Alex Marino, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey; Joe Molineaux, Small Business Development Center at Stockton; Ken Mosca, Atlantic City Electric; Phyllis Papa, Atlantic City Ballet; Cydnee Phoenix, Community Think Tank; Diane Ramftl, Caesars Entertainment; Chief Henry White, Atlantic City Police Department; Libbie Wills, 1st Ward Civic Association.

Elizabeth Murphy is the part-time Director of Creative New Jersey.  She also consults with other nonprofit and philanthropic organizations throughout the state.

Creative New Jersey is dedicated to fostering creativity, innovation, and sustainability by empowering cross-sector partnerships in commerce, education, philanthropy, government, and culture in order to ensure dynamic communities and a thriving economy.

Creative New Jersey’s leaders and partners are regular contributors to the Dodge blog.


“Last night I didn’t sleep because I was thinking about this [model of bringing people together]. With the New Jim Crow Project [focusing on mass incarceration] we have to plan events and programs all the time and suddenly I’m thinking that more people have to have conversations: I don’t have to have a keynote speaker, I have to create the kinds of programs that have people talking with each other and thinking about action steps. So it’s really changing the model for us about the way we’re going to do our communicating and programs and raising the level of self-awareness in education.”

– Barbara Flythe – Campaign to End Jim Crow (Trenton)