"During the process, a wonderful synergy has developed." – Rachael Faillace, Rahway

Rachael Faillace – Chair, Creative Rahway Host Team | Executive Director, Rahway Arts District

“The weekly Host Team meetings have united our Creative Host Team, and forged new relationships between us all, as well as the businesses and community organizations that we represent. I applaud Creative New Jersey for helping communities look at themselves through a process that embraces inclusivity, accountability and openness.”

"Coming in as a student and volunteer I didn’t expect to be engaging as much as I was. . ."– Rider University Student, Trenton

Student – Sophomore, Rider University

” I figured, you know, I’d be handing out sodas or checking people in. At the beginning, I had a topic but I didn’t want to give it, I didn’t want to be in charge of a session. I thought, this is weird sitting down with professionals in the industry – what am I going to have to say? Well, I ended up leading two sessions and I was really excited by how open everyone was and being able to talk to everybody and have a creative conversation. It was really awesome.”

"When we join forces and find a common voice, we are so much stronger and more effective."– Kelly D. Higgs, NJ Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NJVOAD)

Kelly D. Higgs – Disaster Recovery and Resiliency Coordinator, NJ Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NJVOAD)

“What an energizing and enlightening event! It was so wonderful to convene with recovery partners across the state to reflect on lessons learned. When we join forces and find a common voice, we are so much stronger and more effective. I look forward to being part of this movement to make meaningful changes which will positively impact the future of response and recovery in NJ.”

"...we can take our individual aspirations and actually do something about it."– Zulma Gonzalez-Lombardo, Camden

Zulma Gonzalez-Lombardo – Executive Director at The Rachel & Drew Katz Foundation

“I love the idea of having this platform as a place where we can take our individual aspects and aspirations and all our goals and put those into play and actually do something about it.”

"It’s really changing [...] the way we’re going to do our communicating, programs and raising the level of self-awareness in education."– Barbara Flythe, Trenton

Barbara Flythe – Campaign to End Jim Crow Trenton

“Last night I didn’t sleep because I was thinking about this [model of bringing people together]. With the New Jim Crow Project [focusing on mass incarceration] we have to plan events and programs all the time and suddenly I’m thinking that more people have to have conversations: I don’t have to have a keynote speaker, I have to create the kinds of programs that have people talking with each other and thinking about action steps. So it’s really changing the model for us about the way we’re going to do our communicating and programs and raising the level of self-awareness in education.”

"Knowing that there were other like-minded people in my community gave me the courage to act."– Ivette Guillermo-McGahee, Hammonton

Ivette Guillermo-McGahee – Director, Allies in Caring, Inc.

“Before Creative Hammonton, I did not know that I was surrounded by people who, despite our differences, care about the same issues: the safety of our town, the well-being of our families, the opportunity to contribute to our community, etc.”

"Creative Orange ushered in a period of increased collaboration among the municipality, school district and nonprofit and community-based organizations.”– Robin Gordon, Orange

Robin Gordon – Director of Administration, HANDS INC.

"... the exposure of small businesses will exceedingly improve because of such efforts."– Danays Hernandez, Hammonton

Danays Hernandez – Public Relations Manager, La Cubana Restaurant

“On behalf of La Cubana Restaurant, my partners and I would like to congratulate your team for a well orchestrated event. The future of Hammonton and the exposure of small businesses will exceedingly improve because of such efforts. We are 100% committed to supporting your efforts, please count on us.”

"We now have a blueprint for success."– Diane Ramftl, Atlantic City

Diane Ramftl – Regional Charter Marketing Specialist, Harrahs

“It was a delight to work with all of you on this initiative that is so critical to the future of our community. I have lived and worked in Atlantic City for 26 years. During those years, I have heard and read about so many “plans” that never were brought to completion. Thanks to Creative NJ and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, we now have a blueprint for success. What you have done for us will impact the lives of so many people for years to come.”

"The fact that we come back on day two to create an action plan and walk out of here with very specific tasks is an amazing thing."– Jen Souder, Asbury Park

Jen Souder – Consultant, Greener by Design

“I was really amazed by the cross-sectional people in this whole building today. I really didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t anticipated facilitating a session. I absolutely loved the energy that came out of the room and I was pretty amazed at the breath of ideas. It’s a way to help Asbury Park to move forward with an actionable plan.”