Creative New Jersey


c/o The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
14 Maple Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07719
County: Morris


Ms. Elizabeth A. Murphy

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Creative New Jersey is a statewide movement championing creativity, innovation and sustainability through community engagement and cross-sector, multi-generational, socio-economically diverse collaboration. Our work in communities creates a Culture of Engagement and gathers people 'at the intersection' of seemingly disparate disciplines, allowing for a host of diverse ideas to combine with others, thereby encouraging an explosion of potentially groundbreaking, new ideas.

Organization Background

Creative New Jersey (CNJ) 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.

Our work in communities gathers people 'at the intersection' of disparate fields, allowing for a host of diverse ideas to combine with others, thereby encouraging an explosion of potentially groundbreaking, new ideas which helps to propel social progress by linking individuals and organizations that might not traditionally think of partnering with each other. Our creativity convenings:

• Stimulate action-oriented conversations at a local level;

• Stimulate cross-sector partnerships and multi-generational collaboration;

• Enhance the flow of relevant information between sectors; and

• Build a movement for more creative schools, businesses and communities.

Albert Einstein (a remarkable New Jerseyan) once said, 'The significant problems we face cannot be solved with the same level of thinking we used to create them.'

History: In 2009, a steering committee of arts and education leaders convened to implement two Dodge grants designed to launch a creativity initiative. The early years focused on researching the national creativity movement, building cross-sector connections, and finding the best convening mechanism to explore how creativity and innovation might help build a more sustainable New Jersey. In June 2011, the steering committee hosted a two-day Open Space statewide Creativity Call to Collaboration. The inaugural convening attracted 150 leaders from multiple sectors to explore the question: 'How can creativity and innovation revitalize New Jersey?' and harnessed the groundswell of support for a movement that fosters creativity, innovation and sustainability.

Shortly thereafter, The Dodge Foundation approved a grant to hire part-time consulting director Elizabeth Murphy who alongside the founding members, have led the organization into a new era. The success of this initial Call to Collaboration, led to the expansion of the Steering Committee and the development of a strategy for bringing our approach into communities throughout New Jersey. Throughout 2012 and 2013, we established diverse Host Teams and community-wide creativity convenings in Morristown, Rahway, Orange and two in Monmouth County, plus a statewide World Café Call to Collaboration. Working in cooperation with Elizabeth, CNJ's leadership team includes Larry Capo (Steering Committee Chair), Mary Reece, Wendy Liscow, John McEwen, Pam Marvin (Trustee of Monmouth Arts) and Maureen Heffernan. A grant from the New Jersey Recovery Fund has enabled CNJ to hire additional part-time staff. On November 1, 2013, Kacy O'Brien was hired as Program Manager and Julie Gause as Communications Coordinator.

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