SUMMIT, NJ - Hilltop City residents and artists, along with community and business leaders, recently gathered for a 'Creative Summit' at the United Methodist Church in Summit, the event designed to enable the constituencies to further support each other and to establish a place where all creative ideas, all artists, and all people are welcome to create, collaborate and connect.

Moderated by Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre Producing Artistic Director Laura Ekstrand and operating under the topic of 'Connecting Culture with Community', the evening began with a presentation by Summit Area Public Foundation Trustee Meg Fallin Dietrich centering on the importance of supporting the creative community. and provided background the Arts' ability to set the stage for medical, communication and social purposes. Dietrich encouraged the group to support each other to elevate one another, and shared some of the resources available to Summit organizations.

Following Dietrich, Executive Director of the NJ Theatre Alliance John McEwen discussed the relationship between cultural arts and community, highlighting collaborative opportunities that abound when citizens get together to shape their ideas. Sharing examples of towns across the state that have successfully launched creative initiatives, McEwen encouraged attendees to collaborate and work together as citizens, furthering the message that ideas are enriched and strengthened through the “spirit of collaboration… working together and understanding as a united front."

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McEwen noted that, “All people are inherently creative… you don’t have to be an artist to be creative.” He added that the emerging activities of the group should focus on people and diversification to all sectors of the community, thinking of the arts as a business.

The next Creative Summit Gathering will be Tuesday, July 10 at the Oakes Center, located at 120 Morris Avenue. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. For more information on 'Creative Summit' contact SummitArts2014@gmail.com