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.

Gathering Ground benefits from the active participation and wisdom of dozens of individuals who serve as members of our local community-based Host Teams.

Elizabeth Host Team

Elizabeth NJ

Richard Bryant, Front of House Services
Susan P. Coen, Coen Consulting Group
Clara Fernandez, 20th Legislative District
Gordon Haas, Greater Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce
Pastor Robert Higgs, First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth
John McEwen, NJ Theatre Alliance
Stanley Neron, City of Elizabeth Department of Health & Human Services
Abby O’Neill, Abby O’Neill Consulting, LLC
Jonathan Phillips, Groundwork Elizabeth
Alysia Souder, The Institute of Music for Children
Cheryl Shiber, Union County College
Hawa Washington, Union County Division of Youth Services
Kristin Wenger, NJ Arts Education Partnership
David Winitsky, Institute of Music for Children
Robert Higgs, FPC Elizabeth
Kimberly Vanderhoef, Citizens Campaign


“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)