City Seeks Views For Cultural, Arts Plan

The Coaster

Local weekly paper covers APAC's seeks your answers in a survey...

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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.

The APin3 Film Challenge

The APin3 Film ChallengeThe Asbury Park Arts Council (APAC) is pleased to announce its first annual ‘APin3’, a three minute film challenge open to all local amateur filmmakers. Those who apply will be required to write, shoot and edit a short film about Asbury Park during a three-day period in October, utilizing a supplied theme, a specific line of dialogue and incorporating a designated location and prop. The top ten short films, as judged by a panel of independent creatives, will be screened at the House of Independents on Sunday, October 23rd. Thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded to the top three films and one audience-choice winner.

“We know that there are filmmakers, their families and friends who enjoy the teamwork aspect of this type of challenge and this is a great way to showcase talent in our great little city,” said Mike Sodano, one of the founding members of APAC. “Making Asbury Park the focus of short films allows anyone to have a voice in how the city is perceived and keeps the artform on the street.” Sodano, and his partner Nancy Sabino, originally the created the ‘APin3’ concept in 2014 when they were owners of the Showroom Cinema on Cookman Avenue; they ran the challenge twice and were impressed with the variety and creativity of the entries. Sodano brought the idea with him to APAC, which was successful in attracting grant funding to help underwrite the project this year.

The online submission platform, Film Freeway, will be utilized for the challenge and applications can be found through APAC’s website: There is a $25 entry fee, but no one should feel that the cost is a barrier as there are discounts and sponsorships available to help with the entry fee. The actual filming timeframe will start at 6pm on Thursday, October 13th when filmmaker kits will be sent via email to all applicants and will end at 6pm on Sunday, October 16th, the time by which all films will need to be uploaded

Carrie Turner, Executive Director of APAC said, “It is our hope that there is participation from a wide range of individuals and organizations; Asbury is full of artists and characters alike and we expect to see that represented in the submissions. Since films can be shot on such widely available tools as your cell phone, almost anyone is able to take part in the challenge. APAC looks forward to growing AP in 3 to become an annual event that showcases the creative spirit that is found in every corner of our city.”

Start thinking about how you’d like to tell your story of Asbury Park and apply to be a part of this year’s APin3. Mark your calendar for this cinematic weekend in October.

Tickets for the premier screening on the 23rd will be available soon on the Film Freeway website – – and cost $5.

The Asbury Park Arts Council is a 501c3 group formed to advocate for and promote arts and culture initiatives in the city. For more information on APAC:

For Immediate Release – Contact: Nancy Sabino 201-207-9249

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The City of Asbury Park’s Public Art Commission, with support from Monmouth Arts, hosted a three-day mural art project where 13 artists created installations along Cookman Avenue and in Springwood Park.  The artists were selected from a pool of 60 submissions, which included local and regional, professional and amateur artists.

Learn more at

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TCN covers the establishment of APAC, it’s work on the Asbury Park Culture Plan in addition to sponsoring its own arts initiative and events with the goal of establishing an Asbury Park Arts Center to provide a venue for all the arts groups in the city who need performance space.

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