An exhibit for Asbury Park music fans is opening this weekend in the space left vacant by The ShowRoom independent theatre.
The Asbury Park Musical Heritage Foundation [APMHF] took over the storefront at 708 Cookman Ave. when the theatre moved across the street in 2012. APMHF will use the space for exhibits, performances and films. They will also sell merchandise and host fundraisers there.
A soft opening is being held Saturday, Jan. 12, from noon to 7 p.m. The public is invited to “come in and take a look, see what we’re doing,” APMHF chairman and city director of economic development Tom Gilmour said.
The APMHF Resource and Exhibition Center will function mainly as a museum, Gilmour said, with rotating exhibits and a few permanent pieces.
The organization sped up the opening of the center in order to bring more business to the downtown following Hurricane Sandy, Gilmour said.
“We wanted to try to create a destination to the city so we can attract more people and keep them in the city for longer periods of time,” Gilmour said.
The APMHF was started by the group of volunteers who helped plan and operate the Smithsonian Institute’s traveling exhibit New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music in March 2011.
The APMHF also has named three new members to its board of trustees — Ray Salva, director of museum partnerships at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia; Roger Boyce, managing director of the Interfaith Neighbors Business Development Center; and Bob Gold, CEO of Gold Mobile.
They join board of trustee members Gilmour; Susan Pellegrini, the vice chair and owner of Synergy Productions; Eileen Chapman, secretary and assistant director of performing arts at Monmouth University; and Dorian Parreott, treasurer, professional musician and retired music educator.