Jun 052018
 

What do the following seven major farms have in common: Clark Farm, Gibney Gardens, Maitland Mountain Farm, Grant Family Farm, Heavens Harvest Farm, Long Hill Orchard, and Wally’s Vegetables? They are the heart of the Salem Farmers’ Market, which returns for its 10th season this Thursday from 3-7pm, at Derby Square on Front Street in Salem, MA

Just as every shopping mall has anchor stores which are the main attractions, so does a successful Farmers’ Market have booths with general appeal items of summer vegetables, such as from the above-mentioned local and regional farms.

“Over the past decade, the Farmers’ Market has truly become a destination for the community – it’s a gathering place as well as an opportunity to get fresh, local produce and other one-of-a-kind goods,” Salem Main Streets Executive Director Kylie Sullivan said, adding that the market typically draws over 2,000 market-goers weekly. “With the great range of vendors that we have, there’s something for everyone at our Farmers’ Market.”

What Will You Find at Salem Farmers’ Market?

For five months every year, the largely volunteer-run market gives residents and tourists alike the opportunity to buy farm-fresh produce, seafood, baked goods, and meats. Also available are an array of specialty foods, bakery products, spices, and non-food vendors. In total this year we have 35 participating vendors!

Exciting new additions (think of them as all the cute and intriguing smaller stores in the mall) to the 2018 market include Fixx Chocolates, Kim Gregory Pure Pastry, Red Antler Apothecary, Root NS, Sustainable Food Solutions, and Zen Bear Foods, along with many other surprises and additions throughout the season.

Every week the market offers live music and representation from different community groups and initiatives.

To celebrate the market’s 10-year anniversary this year, attendees can look forward to limited edition swag, prizes, and special events popping up throughout the season, both at and outside of the market.As in previous years, the Salem Farmers’ Market will continue to take EBT through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  In compliance with the City of Salem’s plastic bag ordinance, we encourage attendees to bring their own bags – or buy a tote bag at the market to support our work!

The market is made possible through the leadership of Salem Main Streets and the Farmers’ Market Committee, as well as the generous contributions of numerous volunteers.  We are still accepting volunteers to help with weekly set up from 1:30 to 3pm, help at the info table between 3-7pm, and break down help from 6:30 to 7:30pm. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Salem Farmers’ Market.

To get the latest updates about the farmers’ market, visit our website at www.salemfarmersmarket.org, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter .

The Salem Farmers’ Market will be held at Derby Square on Front Street in Salem, MA every Thursday from 3-7pm from June 7th through October 11th, 2018. Mark your calendar. Set aside a basket. And we’ll see you on Thursdays!

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Dec 302017
 

The family-friendly count down to the New Year, known as LAUNCH! is gearing up for a great party in Salem, this Sunday, Dec. 31 from 4 pm to 6 pm at Old Town Hall on Derby Square.

Programming will include hat making, face painting, a photo booth, and more!  There will be an early countdown just before 6 pm. Ring in the New Year with family members that can’t or don’t want to stay up ‘til midnight

“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. “Plus, there’s still plenty of time after our early countdown to get to your own party, or catch one of the many other great events happening all over town on New Year’s Eve!”

New Year’s Eve Stats

History.com and Column Five put together a very interesting “New Year’s by the numbers” Infographic from which we pulled these figures.

  • Each New Year’s Eve, one million people gather in NYC Times Square to watch the famous ball drop.
  • Closed to one billion people around the word watch the festivities on TV.
  • And 22% of adults admit they fall asleep before midnight!

No falling asleep at our New Year’s alternative event, which is in its 5th year and produced again by Salem Main Streets and the City of Salem.

This event is free to all and family-friendly, with a $5 suggested donation to help support Salem Main Streets’ “Holiday Happenings” initiatives, including Santa’s Arrival at the Hawthorne, the Tree Lighting, and the wreaths and ribbons around the downtown district. LAUNCH! is also made possible thanks to our Salem Main Streets volunteers and the continued involvement of our partners at Creative Salem and the Phoenix School.

So, bring friends, co-workers and bring the kids to say goodbye to 2017 and hello 2018, this Sunday at Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Sq. in Salem.

 

 

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Jul 082017
 

More than 10 traditional, quaint, and eclectic gardens are on display today until 4pm as part of the self-guided Garden Stroll hosted by the Salem Garden Club. These can be found within the private gardens of the McIntire Historic District. Also included in the tour is a stroll through the beautiful Ropes Mansion Garden.

Currently it is sunny, slightly breezy 80 degrees in Salem, perfect weather to walk amongst the flowers and as a side perk, get up close to the historical architecture to be found in the McIntire District, which encompasses an area with more than 300 historic structures. It is named after architect Samuel McIntire and includes living examples of his work including “magnificent sea captains’ houses as well as humble workers’ cottages.”

Most of these homes are privately owned and not open to the public, so don’t step on the grass and don’t look into the windows!

The tour is a fund raiser which will benefit many Salem civic projects which include:
the planting and maintenance of the Washington Street traffic island;
• the plantings of the City Hall window boxes;
• the plantings at the Blue Star Memorial on Hawthorne Boulevard;
• providing monthly flower arrangement at the Salem Public Library;
• an annual scholarship awarded to a deserving Salem High School senior.

Complimentary refreshments of lemonade and cookies will be served to strollers along the route. Local musicians and artists will be featured in several gardens. These private gardens are not handicapped accessible. Pets and carriages are not permitted.

Tickets are $20 and available at First Church, 316 Essex Street, Salem, MA. For additional info including tickets, parking and specific details visit: SalemGardenClub.com.

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Jun 132017
 

Bridget Bishop and a few of her friends stop by the Salem Farmers’ Market

Is Bridget Bishop still relevant, over 300 years since her infamous witch trial? We would say so, considering that the interactive play, Cry Innocent, chronicling that trial is now celebrating its 25th anniversary of entertaining, educating, and engaging tourists & residents alike in Salem. To mark the event, an activity-filled weekend is planned for June 16-18 (what would an event be in Salem if it wasn’t a weekend festival?).

Kristina Wacome Stevick, President and Artistic Director, History Alive, Inc. which has produced the play since its inception, explains, “There are a lot of activities lined up to celebrate the anniversary, from stagecraft workshops and readings of new work, to a community vintage dance, to a night of Moth-style storytelling, to a big, fancy party. We wanted to celebrate the talents and current work of generations of performers, have a way to say thank you to the City of Salem and to Salem business and non-profits, to reminisce and help people know what we envision for the future.”

That “big, fancy party” she refers to involves a meal, specialty cocktails, awards, comedy, vision-casting, and live music & dancing at Ames Memorial Hall, Saturday, June 17th. Doors open at 6:30pm for cocktails and “mingling.” Dinner (by Chive Sustainable Catering) and entertainment at 7pm. Hosted by Erik Rodenhiser, the gla will feature stand-up by Will Martin, a docu-short by In The Car, storytelling awards presented by Mark Stevick, dance calling by Alex Edwards, and more.

For ticket information and the full schedule go to http://cryinnocentsalem.com/silverjubilee.

But, what has kept the play vibrant for 25 years? Let’s start with the introduction:

“The year is 1692. Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and YOU are on the Puritan jury. Hear the historical testimonies, cross-examine the witnesses and decide the verdict. Is Bridget Bishop capable of witchcraft? Play your part in history…”

And with those few words, the performers in the History Alive! troupe stepped out onto the streets of Salem to bring to life not only the trial but a living immersion into the mind set of people from the time period. Why did they say what they did? How could they think that way? Witches? Demons?

Wacome Stevick says, “I think History Alive’s–in particular Cry Innocent’s— longevity can, in part, be attributed to the variety involved. Because the audience takes on a role, every show is different. The actors also play multiple characters. This keeps a show that performs around 1,000 shows a year fresh for everybody. Also, we have wonderful people that are truly dedicated to learning as much and sharing as much as they can. They keep the show interesting for each other and themselves because they have a hunger to include new information.”

Speaking of information, we asked Kristina to share one of the most unusual elements of the play they have seen over the past 25 years.

“Meeting descendants of the accusers and the accused, who come to the show, hear the words their ancestors spoke and get to interact as a Puritan jury with the actors speaking those words and ideas is probably one of the most moving experiences of doing Cry Innocent,” she responded.

“Often descendants expect to be ashamed to admit that their ancestors brought testimony against Bridget Bishop– testimony that ultimately led to her execution. However, one of the main exercises of the show is to try to get into the heads of both the accused and the accusers in the time and the culture that THEY were living in. When that is done with the kind of open mindedness and humility that one should exercise when visiting any unfamiliar culture, descendants often walk away feeling more understanding and forgiving of their ancestors.

This doesn’t mean that executing accused witches wasn’t a horrible mistake, but that we come to the decision to send Bridget Bishop to trial (or not) with more empathy to all involved. Hopefully that understanding can lend some perspective to whatever our current concerns are. We’re always better entering a situation not assuming that we know everything about it and the people involved.”

Duration of Cry Innocent is 45 minutes. The outdoor arrest scene begins approximately 15 minutes prior. During the show, the audience may step into roles of Puritan jurors. Kids and adults alike question the accusers, examine property, read advice to the court and vote on the outcome.

For more information on Cry Innocent performances this season, check out the website.

(History Alive! after 23 years under Gordon College’s organizational umbrella became its own entity, History Alive, Inc., on August 1, 2014)

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Apr 232017
 

Poetry is a bouquet, and just as a bouquet of flowers may be filled with colors, shapes, and scents, so to is a poem a blend of words, rhythms, and sounds. This will be evident May 5-7th when the 9th annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival welcomes many of America’s most admired poets to a celebration of Massachusetts’ lively contemporary poetry scene in historic downtown Salem, MA

The Mass Poetry Festival offers nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, and open-air readings. Panel topics range broadly from The State of Poetry, poetry and gender, poetry and aging, book publishing, and children’s poetry.

Of special note, on Friday, May 5, MPF will host a “Student Day of Poetry” in which 300 high school students from across the Commonwealth study with acclaimed poets and instructors to discover their own unique voice.

Throughout the weekend, you are also invited to absorb the thoughts and expressions of acclaimed poets such as: Pulitzer-prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Louise Glück, Guggenheim fellow Eileen Myles, Kazim Ali, Andrea Cohen, Cornelius Eady and Rough Magic, Ross Gay, Rigoberto González, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Emily Pettit, Tom Sleigh, and Dara Wier.

For a full breakdown of the schedule go to the MPF site.

As example of the diversity:

Friday from 1:15- 2:15pm at Old Town Hall (second floor) 32 Derby Square, a relatively new genre of music known as Post Rock will be combined with poetry and in so doing create “Post Rock Poetry.” Grounded in 1980’s and 90’s indie rock music, it is primarily instrumental, guitar, base, drums, and keyboard, with few lyrics. Typically, post rock pieces are lengthy and may contain, “… repetitive build ups of timbre, dynamics and texture.” (Wikipedia, 9/11/2016.) Because Post Rock seldom has lyrics, it lends itself to the creation of Post Rock Poetry that can explore the quest for a peace, understanding, and rising above hostilities and misfortune. In short, it rings with hope.

Then Friday evening, two of the finest poets writing today— the award-winning Ross Gay and Aimee Nezhukumatathil— will present from 7:30–9 p.m. in the Atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum.

Saturday afternoon will feature a musical performance by Cornelius Eady and his band Rough Magic, blending poetry and music at the Peabody Essex Museum. Headline poets Andrea Cohen, Tom Sleigh, Kazim Ali, and Rigoberto González will read throughout the day at the Peabody Essex Museum, celebrating the diversity and common threads among us all.

Saturday evening will feature award-winning poet and novelist Eileen Myles, 7:30–9 p.m. at The Bridge at 211. After her reading, she will be interviewed by WBUR’s celebrated host Christopher Lydon. Eileen Myles demonstrates the extraordinary possibilities of poetry to reveal the personal and political experiences of American life.

Venues

  • Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street
  • Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square
  • Old Town Hall, 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 (Universalist Unitarian Church), 211 Bridge St
  • Howling Wolf, 76 Lafayette Street

From the beginning, 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.” By bringing it to the streets and venues in Salem Ma, accessible to residents and visitors, the poetic bouquet of words, rhythms, and sounds can be enjoyed by so many more. You are invited to be among them.

Admission is $20, and $7 for students & seniors; an additional $10 service fee is charged for all workshops.

For additional info on The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, contact January Gill O’Neil at january@masspoetry.org.

(Photo courtesy of Creative Salem)

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