Aug 202017
 

Do you wish to do some good for others in the community? If so, then you are part of the 62.8 million Americans who annually give of their time & skills volunteering. In our case, the community is Salem and we are Salem Main Streets in need of volunteers to help us staff the Visitors’ Info Booth during the upcoming Haunted Happenings Halloween season, which begins October 1st.

Yes, we know, it is still mid-August and summer is not over. But look at the calendar again from a staffing/training point of view. To be ready to go with scheduled volunteers by October 1st, we need to send out an invitation now.

“It’s hard to believe, but it’s already time to start planning for Haunted Happenings and the October Information Booth,” says Kylie Sullivan, executive director of Salem Main Streets.

A welcoming orientation will take place on Saturday, September 16 at 9:30 a.m. at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA. Volunteers will be updated on new October events and there will be time for returning volunteers to share insights and information with those new to the program.

Kylie adds, “Our annual orientation will cover all the basics for new volunteers, and important updates and reminders for our returning ambassadors. Even if you have volunteered in the past, it is important to try to make this training!”

Registration will begin at 9:30 am, with the orientation starting promptly at 10 am. Please remember to bring your ID for the CORI process.

What if you’re neither a native nor a long term transplanted resident and don’t know exactly “where everything is?” You will. Between support from the people in the booth with you during your shifts, to the repeated questions (where are public bathrooms, where can I see something really scary, where did they burn the witches, where can I get a good burger or fish meal), you will.

Purely as a side note, volunteering has been known to help new people in a community make new friends who share common interests & values.

And if you speak more than one language, we clearly could use your help, as many Haunted Happenings attendees are from foreign lands.

For more information, contact Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director, Salem Main Streets at 978/744-0004 x115 or email at www.salemmainstreets.org

Share
Jul 192017
 

 

Whether you have artistic talent or not, you’re invited to take part in a very interesting project-based workshop that will be conducted for 6 weeks on Salem’s Artists’ Row during the Thursday Farmers’ Market from 3 to 7 pm.

Mayor Kim Driscoll and the Public Art Commission have launched the Artist in Residence: Pilot Program at Artists’ Row with Claudia Paraschiv, (architect and owner of Studioful – Architecture, Community Art, and Neighborhood Design, and founder of the Salem Public Space Project).

Paraschiv explains, “The purpose of The Public Art Salon is to create beautiful, participatory, resident-led projects on an ongoing basis to inspire local communities. Practically, we make friends and create projects in public space that connect local people and places. People come together to design and build community-driven projects, cultivate local talent, and build productive relationships.”

For example, on a previous such project in Dorchester, she worked with the community to build a 50-foot bench over the course of 15 weeks. It is equipped with sounds activated when you sit, sections with indentations for flowers, and even a chess-board ready for play while waiting for the bus. That was the driving need for the bench as the existing bus shelter and bench at that time were tucked away, out of the bus driver’s sight, causing for many a missed passenger.

Why Do It During The Farmers’ Market?

The Artists’ Row tenants chose to hold it during the Farmers’ Market to draw the market crowds onto the Row. Paraschiv is hosting the Salon between Boston Woodturning and Ceramics by Sibel. Salons are held outdoors for maximum visibility and accessibility. Additionally, Farmers’ Markets are a great place to incubate new types of civic practice as well as new business ventures.

Paraschiv added “I hope participants will enjoy expressing themselves through their creations, and feel a sense of pride and ownership at having contributed to a collective public art piece. I also hope participants will learn new skills from crafts to what plants are best for pollinators, and how policy and legislation affects pollinators. Finally, I hope people will feel a sense of joy, wonder, and community.”

The Public Art Salon is a free, drop-in friendly event open to all age and skill levels. Kids are absolutely invited, however, it is very much an activity for all ages since residents help build tables, as well as craft artistic surfaces, and more.

Salem Farmers’ Markets are in session Thursdays now through October, from 3-7 pm in Derby Square.

Share
May 292017
 

Art is good. Art is what you have at an arts fest. But the 9th annual Salem Arts Festival (to be held June 2-4th) is art and much, much more. This popular free family-friendly event will feature over 100 artists and performers, and includes a variety of art, music, dance, and theatre performances. Public activities include onsite art-making for all ages, local artisan vendors selling their creations, and a community-built public art installation.

One of the most anticipated events this year is “Tidal Shift,” a collaborative public art project led by artist and architect Claudia Paraschiv of Salem Public Space Project, featuring an installation of plastic bag jellyfish over Front Street. During the past few months, community groups and locals of all ages have created hundreds of jellyfish as part of an initiative to help educate the community about the negative impacts of plastic bag usage and the City of Salem’s upcoming plastic bag reduction. A brief celebration and presentation of the “Tidal Shift” project will be included in the Friday night reception at 6:35 p.m.

This year, the Salem Arts Festival also celebrates the second “Mural Slam” on Artists’ Row, organized by the City of Salem’s Public Art Commission and Public Art Planner Deborah Greel. Murals will be painted throughout the weekend by 10 selected artists and will be completed by the end of the festival.

In addition, the Festival marks the return of vendors to Artists’ Row, with both new and returning tenants for the 2017 season.

Festival Specifics

The Salem Arts Festival kicks off with an opening reception at Salem’s Old Town Hall on Friday, June 2nd at 6 p.m.  The free event allows visitors to enjoy beautiful art work while being entertained by renowned local and regional performers Lindsay Straw, Dingonek Street Band, and headliners Grupo Fantasia.

The Festival takes place at a variety of indoor and outdoor venues in downtown Salem. Primary locations include Old Town Hall, Derby Square, Front Street, and Artists’ Row.  A Juried Art Show will be held in Old Town Hall throughout the Festival, with an artisan street fair in the area around the building on Saturday and Sunday.  Live performances will take place on Derby Square, Artists’ Row, and Front Street.

The Salem Arts Festival is rain or shine event; in case of inclement weather, performances will be moved into Old Town Hall.  Full schedule and programs will be available on site during the Festival, as well as the Festival website (www.salemartsfestival.com).

“There’s been a tremendous amount of collaboration between so many local groups and individuals to continue to improve and expand the Festival every year.  I can’t wait to share the phenomenal energy and talent that will be on display this year,” says Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets (SMS), the community non-profit organization coordinating the Festival.

The goal of the Salem Arts Festival is to promote all the arts in Salem and to provide the entire North Shore arts community with an opportunity to showcase their talents. The Festival is run in collaboration with Salem Main Streets by a team of dedicated volunteers, including media partner Creative Salem and representatives from the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem YMCA, Salem State University, The Phoenix School, Salem Food Tours, Salem Arts Association, and many more.

Speaking of dedicated volunteers, we are still looking for volunteers for the Salem Arts Festival!  If you would like to join our merry band during this year’s Festival, or if you’ve signed up for one slot but might be available for more, please sign up online at http://signup.com/go/lccZdGg. Even if you’re away the weekend of the Festival, we have some volunteer needs on the days leading up to the event!

Share
Mar 032017
 

Did you notice a larger than usual crowd walking about Salem this evening? It will get even bigger as the 10th annual Salem Film Fest gets underway.

Regarded and highly respected as one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals, it presents a rich and diverse collection of the year’s best work from all over the world.

Film screenings take place March 3-9 at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), and the National Park Service Visitor Center. The schedule and full breadth of the week-long events can be viewed at salemfilmfest.com. Attendance at this year’s screening is easily expected to surpass last year’s record setting 6,000+ viewers.

Salem Film Fest concentrates on well-told stories with strong technical elements and interesting visual approaches, letting narratives unfold that wind their way through the human experience in the USA and foreign lands. Many of the films represent a US, East Coast or regional premiere. Filmmakers are expected to be present for more than half of the screenings, giving audiences a unique advantage to learn about the documentary process.

SFF 2017 offers a diverse schedule of feature length and short documentaries, parties, discussions, meet-and-greets, family-friendly screenings, student film showcases, and opportunities to meet visiting filmmakers in intimate settings.

Each film provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the encounters of others in a dramatic and sensory way, embarking upon what is different and recognizing what is common to us all. “The world is an amazing place,” is an oft worn but timely phrase. Salem Film Fest affirms that travel quote for your eyes and ears to behold. And some films may strike that ‘responsive chord’ that can change your life forever.

Again, go to film titles and times for full list of options to see.

Salem Film Fest was founded in 2008 by filmmaker Joe Cultrera (HAND OF GOD), local businessman Paul Van Ness (CinemaSalem, Van Ness Creative), Executive Director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Rinus Oosthoek and others from the community. Run and operated entirely by volunteers, the week-long festival has become a community-wide event with screenings at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum and the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center with filmmaker parties and music events held at venues throughout downtown. Fueled by great films, dedicated volunteers and enthusiastic audiences, festival attendance has grown 15 to 25 percent each year.

Accept our invitation to see the world up close and personal.

Share
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.”

Share