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.

Getting Creative in Monmouth County

Originally posted on the Geraldine R. Dodge Blog.

I’m sure I’m not the only one with a bit of spring fever these days.  All around our Garden State, Mother Nature is gracing us with her glorious creations as the cherry blossoms, forsythia, tulips and daffodils burst onto the scene.  It’s a marvelous time of renewal, and the energy of spring feeds our creative spirit.

We are preparing to launch our statewide Creative Community Convenings this spring, and as I mentioned in last month’s blog, Creative Monmouth: Call to Collaboration will inaugurate this series.  Led by the folks at the Monmouth County Arts Council in cooperation with members from our Creative NJ Steering Committee, the Host Team for Creative Monmouth is a dynamic and passionate group of cross-sector individuals from a wide variety of organizations.  We have representatives from Monmouth University, MonmouthCares, Inc., Two River Meeting & Event Planning, Brookdale Community College, Monmouth County Planning Board, Monmouth County Tourism, Asbury Park UEZ, Belmar Arts Council, Collier Youth Services, Two River Theatre Company, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.  We are also working with a host of individuals from transportation, economic development, restaurant associations, small business districts, and the county’s three Chambers of Commerce.

Our Creative Monmouth Host Team met a few weeks ago for a spirited and insightful discussion where they identified hundreds of individuals from throughout the county representing commerce, education, culture, government and philanthropy.  This cross-sector, multi-generational list of potential participants has never before been assembled for Monmouth County, and the community-building power of this work was apparent in the room.  After a robust brainstorming session, the Team settled on the theme for this Call to Collaboration: How Can Creativity and Innovation Sustain a Thriving Future for Monmouth County? It will indeed prove to set the stage for a challenging and exhilarating two days.

We are grateful to Monmouth University for generously agreeing to host our convening on May 21 & 22, 2012 which will utilize Open Space Technology where the participants create the agenda during the first hour of the convening.  This format, used worldwide, unleashes the leadership of every participant who is passionate about the issues at hand and wants to take action to uncover solutions.  Open Space promises us to “be ready to be surprised!”  Based upon our initial discussions and the enthusiasm surrounding our upcoming Call to Collaboration, I am sure that the Creative Monmouth convening will give birth to innovative and sustainable solutions as new creative partnerships burst forth….just like the glorious daffodils all around us!

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.

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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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