Jun 012018
 
Salem Arts Festival

Performance art. Gallery art. Public art. It all awaits you this weekend, June 1-3 as the family-friendly Salem Arts Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary. And you are a most welcome guest!!!

“It’s hard to believe how far this festival has come in 10 years. So much conscious work and collaboration across organizations and disciplines has been done over the years to create a one-of-a-kind event, truly unique to Salem,” says Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets (SMS), the community non-profit that founded the Festival.

The Salem Arts Festival kicks off with an opening reception at Salem’s Old Town Hall on Friday, June 1st at 6 p.m.  The free event allows visitors to enjoy beautiful art work in the juried gallery while being entertained by renowned local and regional performers Betsy Miller Dance Projects, High Meadow Howlers, Samba Viva, and headliners Los Sugar Kings.

Over the weekend, this free celebration of arts, culture, creativity and community will feature over 200 artists and performers, and includes a variety of art, music, dance, and theatre performances. Public activities include onsite art-making for all ages, local artist vendors selling their creations, a juried art exhibition and a community-built public art installation.

Arts Festival Locations

The Salem Arts Festival takes place in the heart of Salem at a variety of indoor and outdoor venues. Primary locations include Old Town Hall, Derby Square, Front Street, and Artists’ Row.  A Juried Art Show, sponsored by Peabody Essex Museum will be held in Old Town Hall throughout the festival, with an artist street fair in the area around the building on Saturday and Sunday

Live performances will take place (weather permitting) on Derby Square and Front Street.  The event is rain or shine; in the event of inclement weather, performances will be moved into Old Town Hall and Front Street Coffeehouse.

This year, Creative Collective, a locally based creative organization that connects creativity, community and commerce joins SMS as Salem Arts Festival organizer, founder and Chief Creative Officer John Andrews says “Partnering with Salem Main Streets made so much sense to the collective, and as we watch the growth of the creative economy and learn more every day how important support of the arts and culture are to healthy, safe and vibrant communities we are honored to be partnering with and fostering the 10th anniversary of the festival.”

One of the most anticipated events this year is Bee to Brick, our fifth collaborative public art project, this year led by Salem artists Kate Babcock and Jen Platt. Bee to Brick will install playful swarms of several hundred “bees” around the festival area, created entirely out of recycled plastic bottles and other reusable plastic pollution.

Over the past few months, community groups and locals of all ages have created hundreds of bees in an effort to increase awareness of the critical role pollinators play in sustaining our ecosystem. After the project, the bees will be transformed to “bricks” that will be used be students from the Phoenix School for their “Bottle Brick Project.”

The Salem Arts Festival also celebrates the third annual “Mural Slam” on Artists’ Row this year, 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. The murals will remain to bring vibrancy to Downtown Salem throughout the year.

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. SAF is organized by Salem Main Streets, the Creative Collective, and a collaboration of Salem organizations, including the City of Salem, Salem State University, Salem Food Tours, the Phoenix School, Salem Public Space Project, the Salem YMCA, Peabody Essex Museum, and the Salem Arts Association.

The Salem Arts Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Salem Cultural Council and an additional grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Support for the annual Fest Fundraiser was provided by Salem Five Bank and by the gracious support of its other creative partners, including Retonica Event Lighting, The Scarlet Letter Press, and Octocog Marketing and Design.

Visitors interested in attending the Salem Arts Festival can find easy access to the downtown by public transportation or parking at one of the many downtown lots in the City. For more information and for the full festival schedule, please visit www.salemartsfestival.com.

A special thanks to over 30 businesses that supported the 10th anniversary of the festival through financial support and other means, the list of supporters can be found on the festival website.

Winner of Best Arts Festival in the 2017 Best of the North Shore (BONS) awards, the Salem Arts Festival strives to showcase and support as many artists, creatives and performers as possible on an annual basis and throughout the year.

We hope to see you join the celebration this weekend in Salem Ma!

 

May 102018
 

Volunteering is an art. It is a creative gift that you give to your community. And what better gift to give to the Salem community than to be a volunteer at the upcoming Salem Arts Festival,  June 1-3. It is a great combination!

This year is promising to be better than ever, with our TENTH ANNIVERSARY, record-breaking number of participants, all types/styles of art-making activities, a new collaboration with Creative Collective/Creative North Shore as co-organizers, and our fifth annual community art project, Bee to Brick. Come BEE a part of the best arts festival on the North Shore (possibly beyond? who’s to say.)!

With more activities than ever, we also need more volunteers than ever. We will probably be adding some additional shifts and needs as the festival gets closer, but for now, sign up early and often.

PLEASE SIGN UP HERE – http://signup.com/go/HpiioHC

Please note that we welcome and encourage volunteers of all ages for Salem Arts Festival. In fact… 10-year olds have been some of our best volunteers in the past! Never too early to instill in young people the value— their value— in community volunteering. This is also a great way for new residents to become part of our community, so spread the word to anyone you know who’s just moved to town.

Don’t forget to share the call for volunteers with your friends, family, neighbors, and that guy you sit next to on the train every day!

Save the Date – we will have an orientation for volunteers on Sunday, May 27 at 5 pm at Old Town Hall for any who can attend (yes, sorry, it’s Memorial Day weekend). We are also holding a benefit night for the Salem Arts Festival at Flatbread Pizza on Tuesday, May 29, so give your oven a rest that night and come grab a pie to support the festival!

Volunteerism improves health by strengthening the body, improving mood, and lessening stress in participants. And don’t forget, seeing art is also  a soothing experience.

Questions? Interested in additional ways to help? Let Kylie Sullivan, our overworked but ever-smiling leader know! Call 978-744-0004  x115.

May 022018
 

Launched as a recognition event 10 years ago to “pay tribute to the poets and writers of the past while experiencing the creative energy of today’s literary artists,” the Massachusetts Poetry Festival has since become the nation’s largest such annual event. It showcases nearly 100 poetry readings & workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, visual arts, and open-air performances.

This weekend, May 4-6, Salem once again plays host to more than 150 poets who will engage with thousands of New Englanders. Will you be among them?

Check out the full Massachusetts Poetry Festival schedule: http://www.masspoetry.org/schedule-2018

Panel topics range from the state of poetry, poetry and gender, book publishing, and modernism in contemporary art, to the Common Threads Reading, where contemporary poets with Massachusetts ties discuss their literary connections.

Speaking of poets, the 2018 Headliners include: Sonia Sanchez · Kaveh Akbar · Duy Doan · Jeffrey Harrison · Dorianne Laux · Erika Meitner · Carl Phillips · Nicole Sealey · Sean Thomas Dougherty · Rhina P. Espaillat

Venues

One of the reasons the Massachusetts Poetry Festival takes place in Salem is that we have so many venues that lend themselves to help promote the words and spirit of poetry.

  • Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street
  • Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square
  • Old Town Hall (Festival Headquarters), 32 Derby Square
  • Museum Place Mall, 1 E India Square Mall
  • New Liberty Charter School, Rooms 1-4 (on second floor)
  • The Bridge at 211 (former First Universalist Society of Salem), 211 Bridge St
  • Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites, 225 Derby St

Mass Poetry was founded in 2008, after Mass Humanities and the Mass Cultural Council backed an effort to investigate the “state of poetry” in Massachusetts. Mass Poetry’s founder, Michael Ansara, and former Congressman Chet Atkins felt that while the Commonwealth had as many talented poets as any state, there was little recognition or support for poets, and a huge disconnect between the larger public and the wealth of poetic talent.

The goals of Mass Poetry have been to support poets and poetry in Massachusetts, to build new audiences for poetry, and to make poetry more accessible for those who need it most—often those who have the least access to it.

Come to Salem this weekend, May 4-6, to see, hear & experience for yourself the power of words in the hands of literary craftsmen and craftswomen at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival.

Apr 222018
 

Salem, already known as a very walkable city, is gaining prominence as a rideable community as well. For the 2nd year, the Salem Bike Share program is offering an on-demand ride sharing service, with 50 bicycles in 10 different locations to see the city.

Operated and managed by Zagster, Inc., it began this year on March 1st. With the weather beginning to get nicer, you can expect the bikes to begin renting out more quickly.

Mayor Kimberly Driscoll has praised the program: “Not only does it encourage residents, commuters and visitors to get out of their cars and onto bikes, but it is reflective of our nationally recognized complete streets policy.”

Reported figures from last season indicate that 1153 different riders made 2480 cumulative rides.

Salem Bike Share program features the Zagster 8, an award-winning bicycle known for its practical design, comfortable riding, and easy handling. The bike includes a spacious front basket that’s perfect for carrying shopping bags or personal belongings. As rider safety is a priority, every bike includes automatic lights, a bell, and full reflectors. Riders must be 18 years or older and are reminded to obey traffic laws, wear a helmet, and be a safe rider.

The way it works

Bikes are accessible at any station via the Zagster Mobile App that you must sign up for. It is available for iPhone and Android – or online at https://bike.zagster.com/salem/ where you can find information on membership options and fees.

Zagster bikes have a built-in lock which allows users to ride as long as they want and stop wherever they want along the way and lock the bike. Check out the video

Bikes need to return to any Zagster-Salem station at the end of a ride.

  • Appleton Street off North Street
  • Congress Street
  • Federal Street
  • Front Street
  • Hawthorne Boulevard
  • MBTA Commuter Rail Station
  • Salem Ferry Terminal
  • Salem Willows

The Salem Bike Share program is funded in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Salem State University.

Apr 102018
 

 “Creativity takes courage.”Henri Matisse

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” – Albert Einstein

Art has stood the test of time as an expression of the times within which it was born. As the World Art Day celebration approaches on April 15th, here in Salem we look ahead to our own celebration of expression with the Salem Arts Festival, scheduled June 1-3, 2018.

For World Art Day, galleries and museums throughout the world are encouraged to have extended hours, hold conferences and panel discussions during the day, and host celebratory events in the evening. April 15th is the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, a renowned painter, sculptor, writer, innovator, philosopher, and thinker.

Salem Arts Festival

Over 5,000 people regularly attend and take part in our family-friendly festival, transforming downtown Salem, MA into an opportunity for the arts community to showcase a wide range of talents, not dissimilar to DaVinci. The Salem Arts Festival includes a gallery of juried artists’ work in Old Town Hall, outdoor stage venues for performance and dance, an artist and artisan street fair, a collaborative public arts project, and much more!

“Salem is busting at the seams with visual artists, musicians, poets, dancers, makers, and creative individuals of all types. It’s one of the many reasons people love living and visiting here,” said Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets, co-organizer of the Salem Arts Festival.

“In celebration of our 10-year anniversary, we will focus the festival around the Salem Main Streets themes of ‘Live, Work, Play.’ I’m very excited to see the different ways we can use the arts to explore what it means to live, work, and play in Salem.”

For the 5th year, a community-built public art installation is being included as part of the festival. Bee to Brick, this year’s community art project, embraces the “Live, Work, Play” theme by celebrating some of the hardest “working” bugs out there – pollinators! Bee to Brick will install playful swarms of several hundred “bees” around the festival area, created entirely out of recycled plastic bottles and other reusable plastic pollution. After the project, the bees will be transformed into “bricks” by Phoenix School students for their “Bottle Brick Project.”

Community groups are being sought who want to participate in a workshop, and/or individuals who can come to one of our Monday night workshops. All ages and abilities are enthusiastically encouraged to contribute, no skill set required. More information at www.salemartsfestival.com/bee-to-brick

The Salem Arts Festival is especially pleased to announce that the festival, initially run as a project of Salem Main Streets, has expanded this year to be run in collaboration with the Creative Collective.

The Creative Collective is a group of invested creative professionals with the mission of connecting creativity, community and commerce. John Andrews, Creative Director, shared his thoughts about this partnership. “I am very excited to partner on another project with Salem Main Streets and expand the impact that the festival has on Salem and support the over 100 artists, performers, artisan vendors, and creatives that participate in this dynamic event.”

The Salem Arts Festival is organized by Salem Main Streets, the Creative Collective and a collaboration of Salem organizations which provide support for the festival, including the City of Salem, Salem State University, Salem Food Tours, the Phoenix School, Salem Public Space Project, the Salem YMCA, Peabody Essex Museum, and the Salem Arts Association.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Salem Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. The festival also relies on the gracious support of its other creative partners, including Retonica Event Lighting, The Scarlet Letter Press, and Octocog Marketing and Design.

If you would like to support this dynamic annual cultural mainstay for its 10th anniversary celebration, please contact Robyn Gianoppolo at robyn@creativesalem.com or visit salemartsfestival.com/support

For more information about the Salem Arts Festival, please see www.salemartsfestival.com or contact Kylie Sullivan at kylie@salemmainstreets.org or (978)744-0004 (x115)

(All photos from 2017 Salem Arts Festival, Facebook page)