Hammonton, best known to outsiders as prime blueberry country in the Pinelands of New Jersey, is a town with surprising diversity beyond the species found in this unique ecosystem. With a population of 15,000, of which fully 20% consists of Latino and Hispanic families, business owners and workers, Hammonton boasts industries that range from food truck manufacturing to commercial development to small retail businesses and restaurants. Stockton University’s Kramer Hall sits alongside the Hammonton train station, just a few blocks walking distance from arts and cultural institutions, high schools, and an array of houses of worship. Hammonton is also home to unique events like the SADfest – a 3-day music festival and fundraiser that raises awareness about suicide, addiction and depression and provides a safe space for people affected by those issues to come together and support one another.
On January 26th, 2016, Creative Hammonton’s Call to Collaboration took place after an epic snow storm two days before. The first day of the Call to Collaboration was postponed, but when we opened the doors of St. Joseph High School on January 26th we welcomed over 100 Hammonton area residents, business owners, workers and other community members.
That first day of Creative Hammonton capitalized on bringing together the creative thinkers and thought-leaders from throughout Hammonton’s region – leaders in education, business & industry, transportation, ﬁnance, culture, faith-based, social service, government, civics and other disciplines – who had a willingness to engage with issues beyond the daily challenges of their particular fields of interest. The gathering aimed to launch new creative ideas and foster efforts already underway in order to help create a thriving Hammonton. The follow up day on April 12th, 2016 will continue that momentum by taking a creative and collaborative approach to building on Hammonton’s successes and current challenges.
If you’re interested in learning more about Creative Hammonton’s Call to Collaboration, contact Program Manager Kacy O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.