Saturday, August 11, 2012

Talent Comes To The Borough August 14th

The Freehold Borough Arts Council in association with are hosting the first ever Freehold's Got Talent event on Tuesday, August 14th at 7:30pm in front of the Hall Of Records located at 1 East Main Street, Freehold Borough, NJ.

The event which includes 25 acts totaling 65 performers promises to be a variety filled show of the most talented individuals and groups to gather in one place at one time and a winner will be crowned the same night.

The talent extravaganza  hosted by Neal Girandola, a professional actor and writer as well as the President of the Freehold Borough Arts Council, will be judged by a celebrity panel made up of radio personality Lisa Anderson of 107.1 The Breeze; Agent Michael Arbeeny of Jersey's own 107 Productions; and Myndi Lauper lead singer for the nation sweeping 80's tribute band Weird Science.

Open to all ages, talent submissions for the freshman event in the borough began in May and the Freehold Borough Arts Council received close to 60 submissions that included video of all talent. "From there we put together a show not only based on talent but on variety to assure the audience would be in for an amazing event" said Neal Girandola who also produced the show on behalf of the FBAC and

"The real goal of this show is to support and bring awareness to the arts in New Jersey, specifically in Western Monmouth County. The FBAC and continue to provide venues for artists to become inspired and appreciated for their talents" added Girandola.

Additional sponsors for Freehold's Got Talent include the Monmouth Academy Of Musical Arts.

If you are planning on attending Tuesday's event in front of the Hall Of Records, it is suggested you bring a beach chair and arrive by 7pm for this free event.

For more information email the FBAC at

Friday, January 6, 2012

FBAC's Mural Project Defaced

The following was the Freehold Borough Arts Council's letter to Rakesh Kumar the owner of 63 East Main Street where the mural park once stood following the removal of 8 panels from the site in December. The letter from the FBAC had gone unanswered.

To: Rakesh Kumar 12/29/11

Re: 63 East Main Street
FBAC Mural Project

Dear Mr. Kumar,

Thank you for your generous tax-deductible donation to the Freehold Borough Arts Council. Your support to the community mural project has resulted in a much talked about statewide cultural event. More importantly, it is a source of community pride for those residents and local students who helped create the mural as well as for the numerous local businesses and government agencies that have backed the project.

The Arts Council is supportive of your efforts in locating a new business at 63 East Main Street. One of our primary missions is to drive commerce into town by making Freehold a cultural destination for the arts. The mural’s intent is to draw attention to that mission by attracting visitors and therefore, more business to the Borough. With over 18,000 vehicles a day passing the site, we hope that any business will take advantage of the high visibility and unique marketing value the mural has to offer. Retaining the mural at this location represents good will towards our community and shows a commitment to art appreciation and culture. If the building at 63 East Main Street must be demolished, in part or total, for a new business venture, we ask that you offer us an opportunity to work with you in figuring out an amiable way forward to help save and preserve as much of the artwork as possible so that others may continue to enjoy it. If a new building is to be constructed, we would like to speak with those involved about providing public art on the site.

As I indicated in the opening of this letter, your continued contribution is tax deductible since the FBAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 charity.

Please help preserve the mural by considering our request to keep it in tact within the site. The mural's presence signifies a historic new partnership between private business and public art in Freehold Borough.

I thank you for your time and look forward to our continued efforts in attracting arts and business to our hometown.

Neal Girandola
President - FBAC 

The only contact we received since this letter was on Wednesday 1/3/12  requesting to meet at the site on Saturday 1/7/12 at 10 am to discuss preservation scenarios.  On Friday 1/6/12 Kumar had the mural painted over.

Monday, October 10, 2011

FBAC's Exclusive Interview With Filmmaker Larry Blamire

Filmmaker Larry Blamire is scary. Not in the way that gives you bad dreams but scary in the way that his jokes, characters, quotable lines, and well assembled comedies & sci-fi spoofs are so good…they’re scary. The art house darling and LA native by way of Massachusetts self schooled himself on a Super 8 camera as a kid making monster clay-mation/stop motion films in his parents basement and hasn’t looked back. His films such as Lost Skeleton OfCadavra, The Trail Of The Screaming Forehead, Dark & Stormy Night, and Lost Skeleton Returns Again combined have won numerous awards, garnered rave reviews, & packed houses across the country. 

In the build up to Freehold Borough Arts Council’s October 21st  “Not So Horror Horror Film Fest” which will feature The Lost Skeleton Returns Again as well as a live Skype Q&A with the filmmaker, FBAC sat down with Larry Blamire to get into the head of his black & white world via an interview that was, well, sort of like his films…stilted acting, crazy dialogue, and absurd plots.

FBAC:  So “Larry Blamire”? Is that a stage name?

BLAMIRE: Yes. It was either going to be Larry Blamire or Blaine Larimor.

FBAC: Larimor Larry would have been cool.

BLAMIRE: Good one. Never thought of that.  

FBAC: Do you mind if I take it?

BLAMIRE: I may want it.

FBAC: Name hog. Whatever. I have other names.

BLAMIRE: Why am I here again?

FBAC: That’s deep. Do all horror filmmakers think like that?

BLAMIRE: I am more then a horror filmmaker.

FBAC: Did you answer my question?

BLAMIRE: Are you drunk?

FBAC: Question with a question. Clever.  So six years ago you created The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra and it made you something of a cult hero.  What’s that like?

BLAMIRE: The movie or being a cult hero?

FBAC: I already know what it’s like to be a cult hero. Duh

BLAMIRE:  (blank stare) Thanks to Sony, Lost Skeleton became the darling of the art cinema circuit.  Its got mad scientists, bug-eyed monsters, alien invaders, and black-clad women who perform interpretive dances.

FBAC: In both Lost Skeletons Jennifer Blaire plays one of the black clad women, Animala. She is so hot. I have her poster on my fridge and I think of her every time I get something to eat. Is that weird?

BLAMIRE: That’s my wife. (it is)

FBAC: (laughing hysterically) Yeah right.  (awkward pause) So the film we are talking about is The Lost Skeleton Returns Again. It will be featured at Freehold Borough Arts Council’s Not So Horror Horror Film Festival on October 21st, 2011 . Do we need to see Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra (the first one) in order to understand “LSRA”?

BLAMIRE: No this totally stands on its own. It’s very self-explanatory with the exception of a few callbacks to its predecessor.

FBAC: Your writing style, especially in this movie, has been compared to the movie Airplane. Care to comment?

BLAMIRE:  I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

FBAC: Really? That’s the best you can do?

BLAMIRE:  The point is that it’s similarly silly but with undercurrents of sophistication.

FBAC: Thank God you said that, because your reference line from Airplane didn’t get that across at all.  

BLAMIRE: Are we almost done?

FBAC:  Are you still quoting from Airplane?  Whatever. Moving on. One of my favorite moments, and the most referenced quote from LSRA is delivered by you as mala-prop laden scientist in a scotch-tinged flashback (in my best Larry Blamire impression): “The Jungle gets into your blood and builds tiny little houses of pain, and you’d better not be there when the rent’s due ‘cause the anaconda – funny thing – they don’t know how to read the lease”.

BLAMIRE: Were you just doing me?

FBAC: Don’t hate.

BLAMIRE: Yes that line get’s a lot of attention.  

FBAC: And my delivery on a scale of one to ten?

BLAMIRE:  Worthy of a callback.

FBAC:  I’ll take it. Can I work with your wife?

BLAMIRE: The closest you will get to my wife is your fridge.

FBAC:  Now I’m hungry. Weird. For the most part your films are models of economy. Is that always the plan with your work?

BLAMIRE:  I was just sick of trying to raise money and being non-creative.  Digital filmmaking allows access to making a movie fairly cheaply.  And I found the less money you have the more creative you are forced to be. We shot Lost Skeleton for $40K.

FBAC: Do you prefer it that way?

BLAMIRE: Don’t get me wrong, low budget films are stressful to make. For Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra I wrote the script in five days, storyboarded the entire film, listened to a ton of background music, budgeted the production, handled permits, and unions, casted, table readings, location scouting, making props, designing alien costumes, 10 ½ hour shooting days, managing actors schedules, and all in 3 months by myself.

FBAC: I can relate. I remember having to walk to school 2 miles without shoes in the winter.

BLAMIRE:  Not even close.

FBAC:  I didn’t have feet then.

BLAMIRE: I might put that in my next movie.

FBAC:  Before I go I have to ask, what will a renaissance independent filmmaker of 1950 sci-fi spoof films be for Halloween?

BLAMIRE: Larimore Larry – Cult Hero.

FBAC:  Winner.

Larry Blamire will do a live Skype Q&A appearance at FBAC’s  “Not So Horror Horror Film Fest” October 21, 2011 at 7:30 pm in the American Hotel. The event, in association with will also feature an emerging filmmakers horror film short preview and celebrity appearances. For advanced tickets or more information go to  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Freehold High School Students Pick Muralist & Vision For Mural Park Project

Mural Selection Committee
While the rest of Freehold Borough enjoyed the Legend Of Rock series featuring Thursday night’s The Nerds in front of the Hall Of Records, a select group of Freehold residents and students gathered for the final selection process of the Master Muralist and overall vision for the Freehold Borough Arts Council’s Mural Park Project slated for the vacant gas station at 63 East main Street.

Among the participants was mural vision essay winner and borough resident Jennifer Lilley, whose essay was selected among hundreds of applicants vying to have their concept adorn the gateway project. Students John Amorosa, Rebecca Gruber, Mai-Anh Tran, Felicia Ng represented the Freehold Borough High School art students who the monumental project has been created for by the FBAC. Helping to round out the committee was borough resident delegates Nolan Higgins and Lynn Reich. Neal Girandola, President of the Freehold Borough Arts Council, led the proceedings while council members Jeff Friedman, Samantha Daesener, and Richard Berger represented the mural sub committee of the FBAC.

Matt Halm of Allentown, Pa was selected as the winning Master Muralist based on his interpretation of Lilley’s essay. A time line of relevant images that relate to the history and future of the borough and the arts. “The final decision was based simply on who would we learn more from? We agreed it would be Matt”, said borough high school Junior John Amorosa.

“Halm’s interpretation will be slightly adjusted to include the Battle of Monmouth and a few images that will be more representative of the Borough High School students since this is their project”, said FBAC President Neal Girandola. “However, I am thrilled with the outcome of both Halm's interpretation and Lilley's vision”, added Girandola.

Halm is a professional muralist who has worked with the Lehigh Valley Arts program as well as the Philadelphia Mural Arts program. The mural project is slated to begin mid August. To support or to become a sponsor of the Mural Park Project please email

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Freehold Boro High School Art Show 2

So much art to see so little time. Another sample from the FBAC of the Freehold Boro High School Art Student's work from the annual art show. These students are the Artists In Residence for the Summer Mural Park Project.

Friday, June 10, 2011

FBAC's Night At The Borough High School Art Show

The FBAC attended the Annual Freehold Boro High School Art Show where the students displayed several stunning works highlighting the best produced from all classes. These students will be the Artists In Residence on the FBAC's Mural Park Project.