On January 11 & 12, 2017, the Creative Asbury Park Call to Collaboration was held at Holy Spirit Church. This two-day gathering was part of Creative New Jersey’s statewide series of community-based convenings, aimed at helping to fuel current efforts already in action and to foster creativity, innovation, and sustainability by facilitating cross-sector partnerships in commerce, education, philanthropy, government, and culture.
Thirty-nine breakout sessions took place on topics as varied as the skills and interests of the 125+ participants. The energy and vibrancy of those conversations sparked new collaborations and strengthened partnerships, leading to a variety of actionable outcomes including:
- A new Mayor’s Youth Council (the result of conversations led by Asbury Park High School students);
- More collaborative approaches to reaching out to and helping homeless individuals and families;
- Social service organizations working across industries to bring services to clients in need;
- An arts & culture and tourism collaboration between several organizations and groups with plans for a multi-cultural city-wide festival;
- The launch of a new Mayor’s Wellness Campaign; and
- Increasing the number and reach of existing re-entry programs and partnering with like-minded organizations who can help to broaden this service to more people.
Many participants shared their experiences in a series of interviews conducted by John Kaplow of NJ MediaWorks, LLC. Lisa Lee, Project Director for the Culture of Health initiative in Asbury Park had this to say:
The Creative Asbury Park Host Team members, who worked collaboratively over several months to help make the Call to Collaboration possible, include:
Roger Boyce, Interfaith Neighbors
Amanda Caruso, Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey
Patrick Durkin, Interfaith Neighbors
Doug Eagles, Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County
Genise Hughes, Asbury Park High School
Jon Leidersdorf, Lakehouse Music
Kerri Martin, Second Life Bikes
Mychal Mills, Konscious Youth Development & Service (KYDS)
Derek Minno-Bloom, Trinity Church – Anti-Hunger Initiative
Connie Isbell, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel All Stars Program
Beatriz Oesterheld, Community Affairs and Resource Center
Heather Schulze, Kula Cafe – Interfaith Neighbors
Frank Syphax, City of Asbury Park Housing Authority
Trudy Syphax, City of Asbury Park Planning Board
Henose Valcin, Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey
Pastor Semaj Vanzant, Second Baptist Church
Sonia Velasquez, Asbury Park School District.
CNJ’s Team in Asbury Park: Danielle Acerra, Monmouth Arts; Pam Marvin, Monmouth Arts; John McEwen, NJ Theatre Alliance; Joseph Palazzolo, NJ Community Capital; and Elizabeth Murphy, Kacy O’Brien & Diana Mendez, Creative New Jersey.