In 2011, the Asbury Park Musical Heritage Foundation was launched with an exhibition of Asbury Park’s rich musical history. In collaboration with the renowned Smithsonian Institution and with the support of a grant provided by Bruce Springsteen through the Monmouth Arts Council, this exhibit brought thousands of visitors to the city and to our first home, a space we dubbed Where Music Lives, on Cookman Avenue.
With the rapid expansion and growth of the city, in 2013, the mission was refocused to provide future generations of musicians the tools and opportunity to participate in music education programs, and in 2014, the Musical Heritage Foundation was renamed the Asbury Park Music Foundation.
We believe that our tag line seen on shirts around the globe now, MUSIC SAVED ASBURY PARK, has played a key role in reviving the City of Asbury Park as a whole. Our Music Saved My Life programming and philosophy has serviced under-resourced children in the Asbury Park area since 2014 and has offered kids opportunities to participate in school programs in the public, private, and charter schools, in after-school programs at Mt. Carmel, and in summer recreation activities. We also fund scholarships to our educational partner facility, Lakehouse Music Academy, and kids at the Boys and Girls Club are able to create and record music via the Hip Hop Institute that APMF created. In the last several years, we have been able to put 250 + instruments in the hands of grateful kids.
In 2019, APMF was awarded a $110,000 grant from Impact 100 Jersey Coast to fund a Music Business & Technology program. The kids in this program are learning the business side of music and using cutting-edge technology to create never-before-seen programming that will offer them vocational opportunities in the future. All of the programs APMF funds provide children with life-changing skills, opportunities for collaboration in bands, empowerment through education, and engaging in positive experiences.
In addition to youth education, for the last several years, APMF has offered opportunities to the community at large through a variety of free summer concert series. Thousands of residents and visitors come out to enjoy top-notch live music each summer in Springwood Park on the west side, in Bradley Park across from Convention Hall, and on the Boardwalk. In 2018, APMF brought back an annual holiday show after a two-decade absence to celebrate the season and raised money for APMF as well as local charities that included Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County, AP Toy Drive, Mercy Center, and Jewish Family and Children’s Services.
Asbury Park Music Foundation has been recognized by the City of Asbury Park with a Proclamation for its good work, and in 2019, was the first recipient of the AP Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit of the Year at their annual Carousel Awards. In 2021, APMF received the Spinnaker Award for Arts and Culture by the Eastern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce.