The Revolutionary Spirit: Creative Elizabeth Launches

September 22, 2014

Creative Elizabeth flyer central question graphic_v2

Founded in 1665, The City of Elizabeth has a rich and celebrated history with a revolutionary heritage.

Kacy OBrien

During its nearly 350 years, Elizabeth has been the seat of change — ranging from the sinking of the first British ship after the Declaration of Independence, to the establishment of the Singer Sewing Machine Manufacturing Company plant, which was the largest single-establishment operation in the world by the 1870s.

Today, Elizabeth is home to nearly 125,000 people, and is the fourth largest city in New Jersey with a diverse population representing 50 countries and 37 language groups. Over the past 25 years, there have occurred enormous shifts in the business climate, industrial base, and population demographics.

Snyder Academy
Snyder Academy

On Oct. 23 & 24, the revolutionary spirit of Elizabeth lives on with the launch of Creative Elizabeth at the Snyder Academy of Elizabethtown, a newly renovated historic building on the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth campus — a site of revolutionary heritage (Alexander Hamilton was a student at the Academy and Revolutionary War soldiers rest in the adjoining historic graveyard) that will inspire the two-day, participant-driven convening.

For the past several months, the Creative Elizabeth Host Team has been working with Creative New Jersey to take a creative and collaborative approach to building on Elizabeth’s successes and tackling the current challenges it faces.

The central question we will explore together in October is:

How do we work more creatively and innovatively to draw upon Elizabeth, NJ’s historic greatness and ethnically-rich culture to maximize its assets and ensure a dynamic future?

This innovative gathering will bring together the creative thinkers and thought-leaders from throughout the City of Elizabeth’s region — leaders in education, politics, business and industry, transportation, finance, culture, faith-based, social service and other disciplines who think beyond the daily challenges of their particular fields of interest and imagine Elizabeth’s potential, and will join the ranks of Creative New Jersey communities across the state.

If you would like to learn more about Creative Elizabeth or get involved, please let us know! Email me at

Kacy O’Brien is the Program Manager at Creative New Jersey.  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. Creative New Jersey’s leaders and partners are regular contributors to the Dodge blog. To learn more about Creative New Jersey visit: