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The Creating Change Network is a collaboration between New Jersey Theatre Alliance and ArtPride New Jersey, the state’s two largest arts service organizations, with a mission to build a more equitable, just, accessible, and anti-racist arts community in New Jersey.

Guided by a steering committee of arts professionals and social justice leaders, the Creating Change Network offers ongoing opportunities for learning and collaboration to move the arts sector forward. The Creating Change Network is committed to the long-term endeavor of shifting culture, empowering leaders, sharing strategies, ensuring accountability, and sustaining hope so that individuals and organizations can progress in this work. 

The Creating Change Network was launched in April 2021 with the virtual conference “Creating Change: Moving Towards Equity, Justice, and Anti-Racism in the New Jersey Arts Community,” which was attended by over 550 arts leaders in the state.

Priority Initiatives

The Creating Change Network has identified the following Initiatives for FY23:

A detail from a mural featuring protesters carrying signs and wearing shirts that say

Creating Change Symposium

Registration Now Open!

May 10, 2023, at the Basie Center for the Arts.

Creating Change 2023: Collective Liberation for the New Jersey Arts Community will be an in-person gathering of the New Jersey Arts and Culture Community focused on learning, inspiration, and action.

Participants will be immersed in a day-long experience connecting with arts and cultural leaders, artists, educators, and volunteers from across New Jersey. Plenary sessions include a keynote conversation between Dr. Tobie Stein and Donna Walker-Kuhne, as well as a panel featuring arts leaders who each have different visions for their work. The day will feature Racial Healing Circles led by Sharon Stroye, Director of Public Engagement at the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark.

Over a dozen breakout sessions will be available with various topics potentially including: building resilience within yourself and your organization; the lifecycle of diversity/equity/inclusion movements; embodied learning and wellbeing; shifting language in projects; caregiver support as anti-oppression work; pay equity in the arts; navigating and interrupting micro-aggressions; and others

*“This Guiding Light” is shared with the permission of photographer @dolo_foto, poet @poetjasminemans, and artist @layqanunayawar. This mural was made as part of the #MuralsforJustice initiative in Newark, NJ as a testament to the collective power of Newark artists and that of 2020’s global protests.⁠ See the full mural here:

Info and Registration

National Day of Racial Healing

The Creating Change Network will coordinate and support the New Jersey Arts Community’s participation in this National Event, taking place on January 17, 2023.

More information

Steering Committee

Creating Change Steering Committee Chair:

Donna Walker-Kuhne, NJPAC

Steering Committee: 

Rachel Aponte, Center for Contemporary Arts

Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams, New Jersey City University 

Vince Hall, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation 

Chase Jackson, Ocean City Arts Center

Sharnita Johnson, Victoria Foundation

Marshall Jones, III, Rutgers University 

John McEwen, New Jersey Theatre Alliance

Erica Nagel, New Jersey Theatre Alliance 

Trinity Norwood, Arts Educator

Adam Perle, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation 

Alysia Souder, The Institute of Music for Children

Sheldon Steele, Newark Symphony Hall

Sharon Stroye, Rutgers University