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)

 

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Mar 202018
 

The whole world is watching what we do in Salem this month!  Entering its 11th year, we are home to the Salem Film Fest (March 22-29), one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals, which presents a rich and diverse collection of the year’s best work from all over the world.

Just look at the offerings this year.

  • Between Land & Sea: Ireland’s stunning west coast is the setting for this intimate yet epic look at a Big Wave surf community. This is an engaging look at life at land’s end, placing viewers inside colossal waves while emotionally connecting them with the athletes who ride them and the bucolic Irish town whose fortunes are at the mercy of the mighty Atlantic.
  • Becoming Who I Was: In India’s mountainous Ladakh region, a young boy considered the reincarnation of a Tibetan monk and his elderly godfather embark on a grueling trek to return the monk-to-be to his rightful monastery in Tibet. With powerful imagery capturing the natural landscape, this is a stirring exploration of dedication, culture, tradition and identity that conveys the universal truths of unconditional love, family bonds and sacrifice. (photo from Salem Film Fest website)
  • Skid Row Marathon: Craig Mitchell, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge makes difficult decisions on a daily basis within the criminal justice system. He feels compelled to help change the lives of recovering addicts and convicts he has encountered in his courtroom. Through the long-distance runner’s club of the Midnight Mission on Skid Row, Judge Mitchell befriends and inspires, restoring self-worth and dignity as club members train to compete in international marathons.

When we first started blogging about “a” local city-wide film fest back in 2007, frankly it was an easy write. Some films. Some events. Now it is the world-renowned Salem Film Fest. A lot of films. Diverse. From all over the world. Expressing opinions you may agree with. Or you may not. And a lot of events. So many activities that it is easier to give the you the link to their multi-page website. Just spending time there, you can catch the breadth of this project that began as an idea to do something to highlight the Salem cultural scene.

Dinah Cardin wrote a very informative behind the scenes look at the Salem Film Fest for Northshore magazine last year, explaining that award-winning filmmaker and Salem native Joe Cultrera had just moved back from New York. He was approached with the idea of doing a film festival. In short time, along with CinemaSalem owner Paul Van Ness and Rinus Oosthoek, executive director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce., the beginning of the Salem Film Fest originated.

Cardin wrote that Cultrera crafted a philosophy that centered on creative and unique storytelling without compromise. “The first couple years it felt like we were teaching the local community about how vast, varied, entertaining, and provoking documentaries could be—how they didn’t have to be the boring and preachy stuff you might think they were,” says Cultrera. “I built the programming aesthetic with that in mind—looking for great stories, interesting characters, and strong filmmaking technique.”

Cultrera also devised a model that pays filmmakers to participate and motivates local businesses to become involved as sponsors, underwriting the film of their choice. You can read the article here to see how and why the “process works” to make the Salem Film Fest a success for the filmmakers, the business community and the film attendees.

Events in Addition to Films

The highlight “event” for many attendees is the opportunity to meet visiting filmmakers in intimate settings. Other events include discussions, parties, galas, meet-and-greets, family-friendly screenings, high school and college student film showcases. Although many of these may be free of charge, space may well be limited, so word to the wise— arrive early!

Actually, that is good advice for any of the showings or events. Individual admission tickets for all Salem Film Fest film presentations are priced at $13 for adults, and then $11 for seniors, students, active military and veterans. Tickets may be purchased online or at the Salem Film Fest box office, located adjacent to CinemaSalem in the Museum Place Mall hallway. For more info on individual tickets or Salem Film Fest VIP All Access Film Pass, please go to the Salem Film Fest website.

Come to Salem, see the world — as you may never have seen it before.

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Jan 312018
 

Ice Sculpture from 2017

Looking for something really cool to do as a Valentine’s Day gift for sweetie pie? How about spending a day — or an illuminated evening — exploring ice sculptures in Salem Ma during our 16th annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival, Feb. 9-11, 2018.

There are Ice Sculpture festivals throughout the world at different times of the year, but we uniquely tie ours to the Valentine’s celebration and make it easy for couples to stroll through our walkable streets, hand in hand, oohing and aahing the creativity and craftsmanship to turn what is essentially water into works of art.

This year, we have 24 beautiful ice sculptures that will grace downtown Salem starting February 10.  Some of the themes for this year’s ice sculptures will include “Love Potion #9,” a Dragon, the Salem State University Superfan, the Gloucester Fisherman, Princess and Frog, and more! A map can be found in the brochure (available in shops around town) during the festival and online at www.salemsosweet.com.

Be sure to make plans for a special evening stroll on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 5 pm to 9 pm, when the sculptures will be illuminated by Retonica! This is always a crowd-pleaser.

Weather permitting, The Salem Trolley offers trolley rides around the festival route on February 10 & 11 from 12 pm to 4 pm for only $2 an adult (free for children).

Ice Sculptures

#01 – Universe – Sponsored by The Journeymasters

#02 – Han Solo – Sponsored by Gulu-Gulu Café and Flying Saucer Pizza Company

#03 – Snowflake – Sponsored by Laura Lanes Skin Care

#04 – The Superfan – Sponsored by Salem State University

#05 – Tank – Sponsored by Army Barracks

#06 – Kissing Fish – Sponsored by Adriatic Restaurant & Bar

#07 – Piggy Bank – People’s United Bank

#08 – Princess & Frog – Sponsored by Maria’s Sweet Somethings

#09 – Dragon – Sponsored by Coon’s Card and Gift Shop

#10 – Page the Dog – Sponsored by Bella Research Group

#11 – Gloucester Fisherman – Sponsored by Turner’s Seafood

#12 – Love Potion #9 – Sponsored by The Coven’s Cottage, Emporium 32, Modern Millie, Pamplemousse, Salem Trolley, and Trolley Depot

#13 – Basset Hound – Sponsored by Witch City Mall: A Sacred Place Wellness Center, Badabing Barbershop and Shave Parlor, Bewitched in Salem, Escape Room Salem, Essex’s NY Deli & Pizza, Jodi Bee Bakes, Lotus Gifts, nAGLY, Omen, Polonus European Deli, Primary Residential Mortgage, Remix Church, Thai Place, Village Tavern, Witch Pix, Witch Tee’s

#14 – Cactus – Sponsored by Peabody Essex Museum

#15 – Super Mario Bros.  – Sponsored by Bit Bar Salem

#16 – Cauldron – Sponsored by Salem Witch Museum

#17 – Bakery – Sponsored by Coffee Time Bake Shop

#18 – Financial Wizard – Sponsored by St. Jean’s Credit Union

#19 – Lion – Sponsored by Jolie Tea Company

#20 – Mug – Sponsored by Notch Brewery & Taproom

#21 – Waterfront Hotel – Sponsored by Regatta Pub at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites

#22 – Rumson’s Rum – Sponsored by Pirate Dog Brand LLC / Rumson’s Rum

#23 – The Friendship – Sponsored by Waite & Peirce National Park Service Information Center and Park Store

#24 – 350th Anniversary – Sponsored by The House of Seven Gables and Ye Olde Pepper Companie

Ice Sculpture also from 2017

Many downtown businesses will offer chocolate samplings and sweet discounts around downtown Salem all weekend in celebration of Valentine’s Day.  Check to see who is participating in the “Golden Ticket Promotion” – make a full-price purchase at one participating downtown business and get 10% off your purchase at the next participating business!  Offer is good Feb. 10 and 11 only, some restrictions may apply. In addition, many of Salem’s finest restaurants and retailers will be offering their own luscious chocolate and love-inspired specials and events.

A full list of ice sculptures, participating businesses, and promotions are also listed online, and will be available in brochures around town during the festival. Salem’s So Sweet is organized by Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and supported by Creative Salem, Destination Salem, Retonica, Scarlet Letter Press, and Rockafellas. Visit our website for more events and details as they become available – www.salemsosweet.com – or follow our Facebook page for all the latest updates – https://www.facebook.com/salemsosweet.

 

 

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Jan 022018
 

Mark Your Spot

Windows in Salem Ma are more than things to look through. During the December (and into January) holiday season they are canvases to look upon! For our annual Holiday Window Contest over 30 Downtown District merchants decorated their windows with scenes of the season. Creativity abounded. And our judges, as always, had a difficult time in narrowing the list down

Some award categories highlight good retail design – use of store products or display of a business’ services, use of lighting – or types of design, like painted windows. Again, this year, the Contest Legacy award is given to businesses who have demonstrated high quality windows across consecutive years, while the Contest Newcomer recognizes businesses with high quality displays who have not previously or regularly participated in the contest.

“We had some truly fantastic windows this year, as always,” said Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director. “We give the judges the freedom to create new award categories based on what they see each particular year – but even then, we ended up with more awards and more ties than ever!”

Best Overall: Mark Your Spot
Honorable Mention – Emporium 32 and The Happy Sunflower

Contest Legacy (demonstrating high quality year after year): The Coven’s Cottage and Pamplemousse

Contest Newcomer: Moody Interiors
Honorable Mention – Witch City Wicks and Waite & Peirce

Best Use of Product: Boston Woodturning
Honorable Mention – Partridge in a Bear Tree and Waters & Brown

Best Showcase of Service: Witch Pix and LightShed Photography

Best Use of Lighting: Mark Your Spot
Honorable Mention – Peabody Essex Museum Shop

Best Painted Windows: Brothers Taverna and Life Alive
Honorable Mention – SATV

Emporium 32

The Happy Sunflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salem Main Streets congratulates the Holiday Window Contest winners, as well as every downtown merchant that was able to participate in this fun event.

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Sep 192017
 

Now here is a scary good deal! Salem Horror Fest Opening Night Party at PEM/PM featuring Metal Macabaret will take place on the 3rd Friday of the month (that’s this Friday, Sept. 22nd at 6 pm) instead of the usual 3rd Thursday for PEM/PM.

Hauntingly inspired by the current Peabody Essex Museum Exhibition It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection, PEM teamed up with Salem Horror Fest to make an event that will make you tingle all over, from head to toe and through your bones!

The Salem Horror Fest, if you have been locked away in a dungeon, underground somewhere, is a four-week festival of fear (9/21-10/15) here in the Halloween-capital of the world! Screenings, exhibits, parties, concerts, guests & more!

PEM/PM Activities

Creepily create your own horror poster, dance demonly to beats by DJ Zombi and live tunes by Scary Mary and the Audio Corsette. Carve out some time to check out works by locals featured in the Women in Horror expo and enjoy a feature performance by M Lamar.

And the highlight of the evening: you won’t want to miss the 9 pm screening of Night of the Living Dead to kick off the Salem Horror Fest (separate ticket required).

This is THE ultimate big bash opening to the Halloween season!  But while costumes and masks will abound on the streets of Salem during our month-long Haunted Happenings celebration, the Peabody Essex Museum asks that for this event you refrain from any full-face makeup or masks in the museum for security reasons.

As with all PEM/PM events, it will also feature after-hours access to the museum galleries, interactive and art-focused experiences, an informal atmosphere including live music or DJ performances, tailored culinary offerings and a cash bar.

The goal is to present to the community multiple opportunities to interact with artists and performers, tinkerers and thinkers.

Members, as well as college students & Salem residents (with ID) will be admitted free of charge. For nonmembers, there is a $12 fee.

The PEM is located at East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA. For more info, call 978-745-9500, or toll free 866-745-1876.

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