Feb 162017
 

Valentine’s Day may be a once & done holiday elsewhere, but in Salem it can be a year round experience, and that is not just our opinion. The National Main Street organization annually selects the “Most Romantic Main Streets” from among its nationwide membership and for 2017, Salem Ma and Salem Main Streets made the Top Five!

Emily Wallrath Schmidt, Associate Manager of Communication of National Main Street Center explains “Communities submit a questionnaire about their Main Street’s ‘scene’ (architecture/landscape), dining/lodging options, and popular places for dates, along with 5 photos.”

“We always look for Main Streets that have interesting local businesses or special event to highlight! We loved Salem’s So Sweet Festival, as well as the LGBT and age-friendly initiatives—the photos submitted also captured a sense of romance downtown,” she adds.

Not to mention participating merchants offering sweet deals during the festival and of course the option to explore our cool ice sculptures makes for a great second Valentine date!

Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Manager comments, “I personally think Salem is such a romantic city, and I think a lot of our residents and regular visitors recognize that.”

Why else would so many people look forward to holding and attending weddings throughout the year here?

“From the historic beauty and stroll-ability of the city design, to the natural beauty of our surroundings, the endless community activities every day of the week, to dining options for every palate…it’s really the perfect setting for any love story,” concludes Kylie.

That’s the goal, Schmidt states, “Main Street organizations address all the critical factors that impact quality of life downtown, and align resources to make a difference– enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and environmental sustainability of a community.”

So, February 14th or June 14th or even during October, we, at Salem Main Streets strive to make our city and especially downtown district an anytime destination for fun and romance.

And thanks for the award! We love it!

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Feb 122017
 

The conversation has begun. Are you a part of it? Do you want to be? Mayor Kim Driscoll, in her State of the City address last month, announced a community visioning process known as Imagine Salem. All Salem residents and community members are invited to join the Imagine Salem community conversation to prepare a road map to what they want the community to look like in 2026—the year that Salem celebrates its 400th anniversary.

The dialogue will be framed around housing, jobs, and transportation with themes of equity and inclusiveness woven throughout the topics. The vision will serve as a guide for future decisions.

“Salem has seen tremendous investment and growth over the past ten years,” said Mayor Driscoll. “New residents are joining longtime families in calling Salem home. Brownfields are being transformed, the waterfront is coming alive, and downtown has become a vibrant destination for the region. We’ve made important investments in our infrastructure, and our local economy is robust. Now the question is what kind of city do we want to be in ten years? How do we make sure our city is best positioned to continue our prosperity? From schools to housing and transportation to employment, let’s set some expectations for ourselves and then work to get them done.”

What can you do now?

  • Visit the website (www.imaginesalem.org).
  • Take a brief online survey.
  • Like Imagine Salem on Facebook.
  • Share a photo on Instagram.
  • Attend the citywide meeting on March 8 (6:30 PM Salem High School).
  • Come to a small get-together for coffee and conversation.

Those interested in doing more are invited to host a small group conversation. The conversation could be over a cup of coffee, at a book club, or a Sunday lunch with the family — however you typically meet with your friends, family, or social groups.

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) will provide you with the tools you need to facilitate a fun and engaging conversation about the future of Salem. Contact the DPCD (imaginesalem@salem.com, 978-619-5685) for more information.

“The people of Salem are what make this City great,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Our community’s vision should reflect their lives and experiences, and advance our collective hopes and dreams. I urge everyone to join the Imagine Salem conversation. I hope you will participate in as many ways as possible. Your contributions will help shape the vision for Salem’s future.”

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Jan 152017
 

Finding a secret or hidden room is the stuff of mystery or spy books, but it doesn’t happen in real life… or does it? You are invited to visit the House of Seven Gables in Salem Ma on January 22nd for a symposium and tour of a recently uncovered living space on the second floor.

The Secret Room is in fact one of two “under-utilized 2nd floor rooms. By removing old partitions and 18th century flooring, a large chamber and adjacent living space were uncovered. Also found to add to the historical significance were the original 17th century wide pine floors, hand forged nails and an exposed gunstock post.

Gables executive director Kara McLaughlin has stated that “Rarely does an iconic property with the history and significance of The Gables yield such an opportunity.”

To take advantage of sharing that opportunity for discovery and interpretation, the free symposium will feature staff and some of the region’s restoration specialists recounting what should be most fascinating behind-the-scenes info.

The special tour is set for 9:15-9:45am, followed by a lunch and roundtable session from 1 to 2pm.

Space is limited, advance registration is required, and some on-site parking is available. For more details go to www.7Gables.org/events or call 978-744-0991.

Step back in time and then help not only bring the secret room into the present, but perhaps share an idea or two for its future!

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Jan 032017
 

Understandably, we’ve taken a little break. It’s been a busy last few months in Salem Ma. Halloween season was filled with creatures and creativity. That was followed by the Winter Holiday season, culminating with our double New Year’s Eve party extravaganza of LAUNCH and LAUNCH… Light It Up! And we could not have done any of these projects without a great showing of community support in the form of volunteers.

In February, it will be Salem’s So Sweet. In March, it will be the Salem Film Fest. In June, it will be the Salem Arts Festival. And so on. Whether these are Salem Main Street events or not, volunteers drive the projects from start to finish.

And that’s not just in Salem.

The annual “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report, released by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship, substantiates that service to others is a priority for millions of Americans.

In fact for 2013 the report found that 62.6 million adults volunteered through an organization. They put in almost 7.7 billion hours which translated to around $173 billion, based on an estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour.

Time well spent.

And we just wanted to take this moment to thank you all again for giving of your time and experience to projects that benefit the Salem Ma community.

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Dec 262016
 

What is better than one great New Year’s Eve party? Two!!! In conjunction with the City of Salem and Creative Salem that is what you are going to get to bid farewell to 2016 and say a big hello to 2017 with LAUNCH! and LAUNCH… Light It Up!

“When we organized LAUNCH! for the first time a few years ago, it was immediately clear that there was a strong community desire to come together on New Year’s Eve,” states Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets’ Executive Director.

“This event has always been family-focused and kid-friendly, which is fantastic, but there was an opportunity to do more to serve the adults in our community. The City approached Creative Salem to develop a concept, and we’ve been working closely together to program and connect the two events.”

“We were very excited to create a new concept event featuring local creative organizations coming together to create a truly unique and wholly Salem happening that could also support the amazing family event that Kylie and Salem Main Streets have run and we have supported since its inception” states John Andrews, owner of Creative Salem.

Launch!

The early portion of the evening (4-6pm, Old Town Hall) will be the traditional LAUNCH! event. This event is free to all and family-friendly, with a $5 suggested donation to help support Salem Main Streets’ “Holiday Happenings” initiatives, including the Holiday Tree and the wreaths and ribbons around the downtown. Family programming will include hat making, photo booth, kids’ silent disco, interactive art exhibit with Phil Wyman, and more! There will be an early countdown just before 6 pm.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs:

  • Set up (2 to 4pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Greeters (4 to 6 pm): Greet people at the door and collect optional donations.
  • Craft activity support (4 to 6 pm): Help activity leaders as needed.
  • Face painters (4 to 6 pm): We’re not looking for high levels of artistic talent – ability to paint hearts, stars, and “Happy 2017!” is sufficient.  We’ll provide the paint and brushes.
  • Break down (5:45 to 7pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

Launch… Light It Up

Come back at 9 pm for LAUNCH…LIGHT IT UP, new this year, as Creative Salem and Retonica transform Old Town Hall into a Black Light Dance Hall! This 21+ event will be $20 per person with a cash bar, live performance by local group Dandrew, sounds by DJ Seth, arcade games courtesy of Bit Bar, hat making with Grace & Diggs, plus a photo booth, food by Bambolina, interactive pop up art exhibit, and a special countdown at midnight. Tickets are available at https://creative-salem.ticketleap.com/launch-light-it-up-nye-salem/

About Salem Main Streets

Salem Main Streets’ mission is the continued revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining and cultural destination through business retention, recruitment, and the promotion of the downtown district.  SMS produces and supports numerous community events and initiatives throughout the year, including the Salem Farmers’ Market, Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, and the October Information Booth.  SMS operates thanks to the generosity and partnership of the City of Salem and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Destination Salem, and many other local business sponsors and community volunteers.

About Creative Salem

Creative Salem is an organization of like-minded creative individuals with the mission of ensuring creativity and the arts are a relevant part of daily community and small business life, and operates through the support of its partners and members. Creative Salem celebrates the city of Salem as a hub of creativity, and is dedicated to promoting collaboration, facilitating quality artistic events, and providing contemporary tools for local creative professionals to find and connect with new audiences while encouraging them to apply their skills to help solve challenges facing the community.

For more information about these events, contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director, at (978)744-0004 or kylie@salemmainstreets.org, or visit http://salemmainstreets.org/

 

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