About Us

Where Music Lives & Music Gives

Mission & Vision

The mission of Asbury Park Music Foundation is to keep the Asbury Park music legacy alive by providing under-served youth with life-changing music education, helping the local music scene thrive and uniting a diverse community through music.

The organization envisions that this community-wide, inclusive and collaborative effort will make Asbury Park a premier music destination whose economic and cultural vitality benefits all citizens and reflects the diversity of its population.

Asbury Park Music Foundation (APMF) is a New Jersey 501(c)3 non-profit corporation as determined by the IRS. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Asbury Park Youth

With the support of donors, volunteers, sponsors and grants, APMF is expanding its youth music programs to engage more kids and provide holistic training that goes beyond basic music skills. Kids build self-esteem, gain confidence and forge relationships as they learn to play, write, record and promote music. Our goal is to provide music education to all kids in the Asbury Park area through public and private schools, as well as a path for committed kids to improve their skills in after-school programs and scholarships for private lessons at Lakehouse Music Academy. This education will provide skills and experiences that lead to a better future in music or other professions.

Asbury Park Musicians

We support professional musicians based in Asbury Park by hiring them to teach our youth programs, providing paid performance opportunities at our community events and renting out our performance space where they can host their own all-age shows. Our goal is to go further in the upcoming year, seeking additional ways to provide guidance, promotion and connections that help them succeed creatively and financially.

Asbury Park Community

We run concerts and other music events throughout the year that unite our diverse community through the common bond of music. This includes a combination of free shows and fundraising shows that are supported through corporate sponsors, foundation grants and personal donations. We have a passionate and active volunteer team that helps us run these events.

An Economic Revival Still in Progress

Asbury Park has gone through a tremendous economic turnaround in the downtown and boardwalk areas, fueled in part by the revival of the famous live music scene. Live music every night of the year in more than a dozen venues attracts a constant stream of music fans keep AP hopping. But this revival has not extended to all residents of this small community. Low high school graduation rates, low income levels and unemployment above the state average are some of the challenges facing Asbury Park and the west side of the city in particular.

APMF is doing its part to reverse these challenges through the power of music. Our mission approaches this from several angles, including our youth music education and community events on the west side. As we raise additional funding, we can expand our efforts to achieve aggressive goals for improvement.

2011: Founded for “Musical Heritage”

APMF was founded in 2011, following an event by the Smithsonian Institute. Asbury Park was selected as the first host city of the Smithsonian Institute’s traveling musical heritage exhibit, “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music.” In a 4-week period, more than 14,000 visitors enjoyed the exhibit, including 48 class trips from area elementary and secondary schools. This event, marked the launch of a yearlong celebration of Asbury Park’s musical heritage. As part of the celebration, noted historian Helen Pike produced “Asbury Park: Where Music Lives,” an anthology of essays by local musicians; a new website was launched; and a documentary was produced chronicling the experience of musicians, producers, and audience members whose extraordinary stories are an integral part of Asbury Park’s musical heritage.

A group of dedicated volunteers recognized that the celebration had to continue for years to come; thus, the Asbury Park Music Foundation was created. Its original mission was to preserve, exhibit and promote the City of Asbury Park’s rich musical heritage – past, present and future – and to contribute to the City’s revitalization by securing Asbury Park as a musical destination. In 2012, the Asbury Park Music Foundation was awarded a 3-year grant for $100,000 to support local music in Asbury Park, bestowed tthe Monmouth County Arts Council by Bruce Springsteen. With this grant and the support of local businesses, the Foundation was able to open an exhibit and performance space on Cookman Avenue, which was named Where Music Lives.

2013: Expansion into Youth Programs

In 2013, the Board of Directors decided to take things in a new direction and focus on the future of music in Asbury Park by creating a Youth Initiative Program, entitled “Music Saved My Life” in partnership with Lakehouse Music Academy. This program was founded based on the need for a music program at Hope Academy Charter School, a k-8 public charter school and has since expanded to multiple in-school programs, after-school programs and scholarships.

2015: Intro of Asbury Park Music & Film Festival

In order to ensure financial stability for the Foundation and its Youth music programs, the Foundation created the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival in partnership with the Asbury Park Press. This 3-day festival welcomed over 5,000 filmmakers, musicians and guests from all over the world who attended events in 12 of Asbury Park’s finest venues including the iconic Convention Hall and The Stone Pony. The festival continues to run annually in April of each year and serves as one of the primary sources of funding for APMF.

2016: Live Music Returns to the West Side

After winning a nation-wide competition for a Levitt AMP grant, APMF brought music back to the west side in a brand new community park with free concerts every Monday throughout the summer of 2016. The shows brought out people from throughout Asbury Park, both east and west side, and attracted visitors from throughout the state. The concert series featured diverse music styles including soul, funk, rock, jazz, blues and Latin rock. The series was extremely successful with over 4,000 attendees for the 2017 shows. It is now a standard summer series called “Music Mondays in Springwood Park.”