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.

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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.

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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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Mar 182018
 

Are you hungry? And we mean not only hungry for something to eat but hungry to try something new? Then you have come to the right place. For 10 exciting days, Salem’s diverse dining venues literally throw open the doors and invite you to enjoy some of their best offerings at unbeatable prices. The occasion? Well, of course, it is Salem Spring Restaurant Week.  Runs Sunday, March 18 – Thursday, March 22 and then again Sunday, March 25 – Thursday, March 29.

Expect a wide variety of delicious foods – from steak to seafood, American to ethnic, there is something for everyone. Restaurants offer multiple choices for appetizers, entrees as well as desserts.

If you go to a different establishment each night during Salem Spring Restaurant Week, you still won’t see them all! Please note the list of restaurants below is not final, they are subject to change.

Adriatic Restaurant and Bar – Click here for menu
155 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (978) 594-1832
Click here to make a reservation.

A warm interior and excellent cuisine—a winning combination that defines the Adriatic Restaurant & Bar. The brick oven pizzas are always a hit, and imaginative libations entice customers to come back time and again. Excellent market-fresh fish dishes inspired by regions surrounding the Adriatic Sea give this Mediterranean eatery something to boast about. A lengthy wine list featuring imported varietals and blends bring every meal’s flavors to fore and make patrons hunger for more.

Beerworks No. 2 Salemclick here for menu
Offering 2 course menu for $20
278 Derby Street, Salem, MA – (978) 745-2337

Located in Historic Downtown Salem since 1996, Salem Beer Works has something for everyone. With 15 freshly brewed beers on tap each day, guests enjoy the seasonal patio (weather permitting) and proximity to the Salem waterfront.   Whether you’re visiting from out of town, or live in the area, Salem Beer Works is the place to go for good food, good beer and good times.

Bella Veronaclick here for menu
Offering 3 course menu for $30
107 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 825-9911

Chef-owner Giorgio Manzana hails from Lake Garda Italy in the Provence of Verona and has a hotel-restaurant background that goes back over 35 years. Bella Verona enjoys catering to their clients, creating new dishes and continuing the simple good and authentic home-style cooking of Manzana’s region as well as other parts of Italy. As an Italian restaurant in the heart of Salem, they will bring you back to Verona, the home of Romeo and Juliet, to lose yourselves in the atmosphere and excellent food. In keeping to their traditional roots, they offer creative options with homemade pastas, and great daily specials.

BonChonclick here for menu
Offering 3 course menu for $20
299 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 594-8256

“Bonchon” means “my hometown” in Korean. True to their original roots, Bonchon Downtown Salem is a family friendly establishment, offering an affordable casual dining experience along with lively atmosphere.  Enjoy the flavorful chicken wings that are their signature dish and then wash that down with a local Notch brew.

Finz Seafood & Grill click here for menu
Offering 3 course menu for $30
76 Wharf Street, Salem, MA – (978) 744-0000
Click here to make a reservation.

Innovative and inspired menus, fresh raw bar, and a carefully chosen wine list all lead to an extraordinary dining experience at Finz. Our menu emphasizes creatively prepared fresh seasonal seafood. Our raw bar offers the freshest local oysters, clams, chilled lobster, colossal crab and jumbo shrimp. With indoor and outdoor waterfront dining, Finz is a great place to relax and enjoy outstanding food and drinks. Zagat’s rated Finz Seafood & Grill one of the Top 10 Waterfront restaurants in New England.

Firenze Trattoria – different selections nightly!
Offering 3 course menu for $30
2 Lynde Street, Salem, MA – (978) 219-1188

Firenze Trattoria is chef Zamir Kociaj’s way of sharing his passion for the authentic tastes of Firenze with the historic town of Salem. Merging years of experience with a neighborhood vibe, Firenze Trattoria is the perfect place to celebrate the simple moments with loved ones and friends while dining on delectable Italian fare.

Jami’s Kitchenclick here for menu
Offering 2 course menu for $20
2 Bridge Street, Salem, MA – (978) 740-4619

Located on the line between beautiful Beverly and Salem, Massachusetts, on the sunny side of the Salem bridge, Jami’s Kitchen serves its patrons in the New England tradition; presenting great food, fine beer and entertainment for locals and visitors alike. Our outdoor bar has spectacular views of the waterfront and offers harbor breezes, cool drinks and spirited conversation. We’re proud to welcome you, your friends, and your family of our comfortable kitchen!

Ledger Restaurant & Bar click here for menu
Offering 3 course menu for $30
125 Washington Street Salem, MA – (978) 594-1908
Click here to make reservations on Open Table.

Ledger, located in the former Salem Savings Bank building (circa 1818), opened just this year by chef-owner Matt O’Neil and is already being touted by Zagat as one of the six sexiest new restaurants in Boston! Ledger is known for its progressive New England concept of traditional 19th-century dishes, cocktails, and techniques that are elevated with 21st-century resources. This is high-style cuisine, whether it’s the artful plating of each colorful dish or the creative take on wood-fired dishes, house-made charcuterie, and raw bar items.

Life Aliveclick here for menu
Offering 4 course menu for $20
281 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 677-8518

Want to enjoy a healthy meal that will make you feel good about eating? Look no further than Life Alive! Life Alive is devoted to making nourishing and delicious meals that are full of pleasure. Take pleasure and comfort in knowing that they are devoted to the vitality of our bodies, communities, and earth.

Longboards Restaurant & Barclick here for menu
Offering 3 course menu for $20
72 Wharf St, Salem, MA – (978) 745-6659

Located on Pickering Wharf, Longboards Restaurant & Bar serves up award-winning sandwiches, lobster rolls and their new signature flatbreads, all with the promise that you won’t leave hungry. Longboards is your staple neighborhood bar with a full bar and a great list of local beers – check them out during your favorite game or come grab a drink and dinner with some friends!

Nat’s at the Hawthorne Hotelclick here for menu
Offering 3 course menu for $30
18 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (978) 825-4300
Click here to make reservations on Yelp.

For an unforgettable fine dining experience in Salem, enjoy the ambiance, warmth and hospitality of award-winning seasonal cuisine from Nathaniel’s restaurant. The menu features contemporary dining in a historic setting, while offering a carefully crafted wine menu and scrumptious desserts that will complete any night out or special occasion.

Opusclick here for menu
Offering 3 course menu for $30
87 Washington Street, Salem, MA – (978) 744-9600

With what can only be described as a maverick kitchen, Opus’ cuisine boasts unexpected flavor combinations that simply taste amazing. The restaurant’s dynamic sushi team draws on both east and western influences to create sushi rolls that are truly unique. The upstairs dining room is centered around an oversized, glowing glass bar where guests can meet for a drink or enjoy a three-course meal. Downstairs, in Opus Underground, guests can enjoy nightly entertainment in a Moroccan-inspired space filled with cozy seating and thought-out details. Opus is a go-to destination for live music, dinner, and cocktails seven days a week.

Regatta Pub at the Waterfront Hotel
225 Derby Street, Salem, MA – (978) 740-8788

The Regatta offers casual dining with flair. Try their signature “Regatta Blue” martini with your favorite burger or fresh seafood with a glass of chilled wine. The Regatta Pub offers an eclectic choice of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees in a relaxed and nautical inspired atmosphere, or chose to dine outside on their patio, weather permitting.

Rockafellasclick here for menu
Offering both 2 course menu for $20 and 3 course menu for $30
231 Essex Street, Salem, MA – (978) 745-2411

Rockafellas established a new tradition in dining in the center of historic Salem in 2003. As the most delicious occupant of the renowned Daniel Low Building, Rockafellas restaurant follows several other institutions of reputation including a department store, a bank (the vault now stores wines) and one of the first churches in America. Their menu features fresh seafood and Black Angus steaks and offers everything from burgers and salads and tapas to gourmet presentations. The wait staff assures a relaxed atmosphere where everyone feels at home.

Sea Level Oyster Barclick here for menu
Offering 3 course menu for $30
94 Wharf Street, Salem, MA – (978) 741-0555
Click here to make reservations.

Located on Pickering Wharf, Sea Level Oyster Bar boasts two floors of fun while offering comfortable dining and great waterfront views. Sea Level also features a sit down raw bar packed with the freshest shellfish around. With an extensive beer list and creative cocktails that will quench your thirst while the kitchen cooks up fabulous seafood, gourmet pizzas and more, you are guaranteed to leave satisfied! Don’t forget to try their scrumptious desserts stamped in approval.

Thai Placeclick here for menu
Offering both 2 course menu for $20, and 3 course menu for $30
Witch City Mall, Salem, MA – (978) 741-8008

Thai Place Restaurant has been open since 1990. Being the first Thai Restaurant in the North Shore area of Massachusetts, they are proud to be one of the first establishments to present the unique taste, culture and sincerity of Thailand. Thai Place’s dedication to prepare the finest Thai food comes with experience, care for their customers and careful selection of the freshest ingredients.

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hallclick here for menu
Offering 3 course menu for $30 (March 18-22 only)
43 Church Street, Salem, MA – (978) 745-7665
Click here to make reservations on Open Table.

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall is an authentic New England seafood house in an iconic 1843 building with noted cultural history, complementing their family’s seafood heritage spanning four generations. This is where they prepare the catch-of-the-day becoming classic appetizers, entrees and creative daily specials. Turner’s shucks and serves the finest local and regional oysters & clams in their classic raw bar. And, their seafood market, Salem’s only, offers fresh, raw and prepared seafood to enjoy at home. It’s important to get to the docks early as good fish go fast but, the best go to Turner’s… then to you….dock to table … same day!

Salem has become a culinary destination, in addition to its other notoriety; people along the North Shore and beyond eagerly look forward to Salem Spring Restaurant Week. Reservations are encouraged; be advised to contact the restaurants directly. Please mention “Restaurant Week” when making your reservations.

 

 

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