Impact Stories

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 NJ: Creativity & Collaboration in the ‘City Invincible’

Camden Central Question

Originally posted on the Geraldine R. Dodge Blog.

Camden, the “City Invincible,” which built its early reputation as a port city, industrial and manufacturing hub, is currently home to major hospitals, higher education institutions, cultural attractions and citizens who are deeply committed to their City. Though Camden has been faced with economic challenges for many years, the spirit of its residents and champions from all walks of life has kept the City moving forward.

A highly diverse municipality, Camden is poised to become a model 21st-Century city – one that embraces all of its residents, economic prosperity for all, and collaboration for the collective good.

Many individuals and organizations have been working toward those goals for years, and the upcoming two-day Creative Camden Call to Collaboration will take a creative and collaborative approach to strengthening existing relationships, building new partnerships, and fostering shared vision for the future.

The Creative Camden Call to Collaboration will take place on Wednesday, March 15 & Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 8:30am-4pm on both days and will be held in the Multi-purpose room of the Campus Center at Rutgers University-Camden.

This two-day gathering is part of Creative New Jersey’s statewide series of community-based convenings, aimed at helping to fuel current efforts already in action and to foster creativity, innovation, and sustainability by facilitating cross-sector partnerships in commerce, education, philanthropy, government, and culture.

Aerial-View-of-Camden-NJ-Showing-Camden-Philadelphia-Bridge-l1938-800x51...

Our local Host Team of residents, nonprofit, education and business leaders have been working with Creative New Jersey over the last eight months to bring the community together and over the course of the two day Call to Collaboration, participants will explore and develop action plans around topics that fall under the central guiding question:

As our city evolves, how can all of us who live and work in Camden collaborate to creatively leverage our assets, ensure accountability from all, fuel economic opportunities for residents, and strengthen our neighborhoods in order to create a safer, prosperous Camden for all?

If any of our blog readers know people who live or work in Camden who might be interested in participating, please forward this blog or send them here for more information! We’d also like to extend thanks to our Creative Camden host venue partner Rutgers-Camden and our media partner NJTV.
camden mural background


Kacy O’Brien is Creative New Jersey’s Program Manager and is a Lead New Jersey 2015 Fellow.

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.

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“I was really amazed by the cross-section of people in this whole building today. I really didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t anticipating facilitating a session. I absolutely loved the energy that came out of the room and I was pretty amazed at the breath of ideas. “The fact that we come back on day two to create an action plan and walk out of here with very specific tasks is an amazing thing. It’s a way to help Asbury Park to move forward with an actionable plan.”

– Jen Souder – Consultant, Greener by Design, Founder Asbury Park African American Heritage Project & Museum (Asbury Park)

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