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.

Newark Host Team

Newark Paramount Theater sign

Kevin Callaghan, Newark Philanthropic Liaison
Pamela B. Daniels*, Unified Vailsburg Services Organization
Marcy DePina, Newark Riverfront Revival
Natasha Dyer, Newark Trust for Education
Kim Gaddy*, Clean Water Action
Aisha Glover, Newark Alliance
Angela Garretson, NJIT
Jeremy Johnson, Newark Arts
Lavita Johnson, Newark People’s Assembly
Tish Johnson, BRICK Education Network
Celia King, Leadership Newark
Susan Lazzari, Newark Public Library
Maria Lopez-Nuñez, Ironbound Community Corporation
Eyesha Marable, NJ Performing Arts Center
Andréa Mason, Newark People’s Assembly
Lauren Meehan, Newark Arts Education Roundtable
Stephanie Neal, NJ Community Capital – CAP-C
Carrie Puglisi, La Casa de Don Pedro
Rev. Louise Rountree, Office of Clergy Affairs-City of Newark
James Thompson, Free Press
Carlos Valentin, ASPIRA
Myles Varley, United Community Corporation

*Host Team Co-Chairs


“During the process, a wonderful synergy has developed. The weekly Host Team meetings have united our Host Team, and forged new relationships between us all, as well as the businesses and community organizations that we represent. I applaud Gathering Ground for helping communities look at themselves through a process that embraces inclusivity, accountability and openness.”

– Rachael Faillace – Chair, Rahway Call to Collaboration Host Team | Former Executive Director, Rahway Arts District (Rahway)