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City Seeks Views For Cultural, Arts Plan

By CAROL GORGA WILLIAMS - The Coaster - October 17, 2022

Can you feel Asbury Park’s artistic energy? Would you like that feeling to be stronger? Do you support the arts?

Here is your chance to express your views. The Asbury Park Arts Council is preparing an arts and cultural plan for the city, announced City Councilwoman Eileen Chapman. More information is available from the council’s website at On that site, the council is seeking answers to an anonymous 26- question survey about the status of the arts and potential future developments. Those who are interested – and the survey is open to those who are not city residents as well – may also speak to council members in person. The next listening session is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Asbury Park Community Festival at Springwood Park.

If taking the survey or speaking in person are not preferred, those interested in discussing the issue may also comment on the site’s message board.

The Arts Council currently is working on APin3 in which film makers write, shoot and edit a short three-minute film on Asbury Park during a three-day period this month. The premiere, which costs $5, is Oct. 23 on the site

The cultural arts plan is being funded by Monmouth Arts and Monmouth County’s COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program. Its mission, according to the arts council site, is to create a comprehensive arts and cultural plan for the city.

During the six-month planning process, the council will conduct an inventory of the existing cultural activities that help people access artistic offerings here. The four-pronged effort also calls for the identification of common visions and goals for artistic offerings, the evaluation of options and strategies for future artistic programming and completion of the plan for the city..

During the inventory, volunteers will categorize the people, organizations, places, venues, activities and other elements that add to what they call the city’s artistic ecosystem. The inventory would also include a comparison to what other cities have to offer.

To develop the vision and goals of the city’s artistic programming, the project will look at the strengths, shared priorities and opportunities to create and participate in artistic endeavors and establish goals for supporting a sustainable, resilient and inclusive cultural community. The final plan will seek to be a guide to arts here including the physical, programmatic and organization infrastructure to support the artistic endeavors here that would contribute to the city’s economic development, community cohesion and individual creativity encouraged by the arts.

The survey will include questions about artistic history, food, painting, theater, knitting, festivals, markets, museums, dominoes, drum circles, library, poetry, including the spoken word and where in the city arts seem to live for people, including Asbury Avenue, Memorial Drive, Springwood Avenue and Springwood Park, Sunset, Deal or Wesley lakes, the downtown, including Cookman, Lake and Mattison Avenues, Library Square Park and other areas.

The survey asks what keeps people away from accessing arts including whether art is cultural sensitivity and inclusive, whether there is child care, ADA provisions, language issues, scheduling and timing of artistic programming and other issues.