Creative and Sustainable Partnerships at the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference

November 14, 2011

By Ann Marie Miller
Executive Director
Art Pride

This week the New Jersey League of Municipalities will host its 96th Annual Conference in Atlantic City from November 15 – 18. This year’s theme is Creating a Community with a Common Vision.

The Art Pride NJ Foundation is proud to partner with the NJ State Council on the Arts, Arts Plan NJ, the Arts Build Communities program of Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning, and Sustainable Jersey to present a panel discussion on “Partnering for Sustainable and Creative Communities.

Mayor Ed Mahaney of Cape May is the presiding mayor for this discussion that will explore opportunities for municipalities to partner with neighboring towns, higher levels of government, and other community organizations to successfully accomplish sustainability projects. Panelists will share success stories that demonstrate how sustainability and creativity are natural partners.

Panelists include Suzette Dewey, Coordinator for Earthwise Associates, Barbara Fiedler, Assistant Deputy Director of Community Services for the Township of Galloway, Mary Reece, Director of Media and Innovative Programs for the Foundation for Educational Administration (who also serves on the board of trustees for Young Audiences for Learning NJ, and the Steering Committees for the NJ Arts Education Partnership and Creative NJ), and Larry McCullough, the Grants Officer for Woodbridge Township. They will share personal experiences and describe how seniors and youth worked together to build a community garden, how four towns partnered to host a regional green fair, and how one municipality focused on sustainability by developing its creative community assets. Panelists will also focus on how a strong arts education program can not only gain points toward Sustainable Jersey certification, but improve graduation rates and property values.

Mayors and municipal leaders in attendance will receive a resource guide that offers practical ways to incorporate arts education and cultural development into municipal sustainability efforts along with data on resulting benefits. A wide variety of resources that are listed in the resource guide are available through the Arts Build Communities program that offers local government leaders assistance through research and continuing education opportunities.

This is the seventh year that the Art Pride New Jersey Foundation partnered with the NJ State Council on the Arts to present a panel discussion at the NJ League of Municipalities Conference. Previous panels focused on cultural tourism, destination marketing, arts education and cultural planning. Our partnerships in this effort keep expanding and we are happy to widen the net!

Ann Marie Miller is the Executive Director of Art Pride, the premier arts advocacy organization in New Jersey, and a regular contributor to the Dodge blog.