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.

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Feb 182018
 

While there are a lot of Do-It-Yourself books, videos and TV shows today to help you build your house, back in 1668 when sea captain John Turner was having the Turner Mansion constructed in Salem Ma, there was a lot of trial and error. With limited material resources at hand and no power tools, building a house in Colonial Massachusetts required skill, ingenuity and a lot more. Luckily, Turner’s team would even make the hosts of PBS’ “This Old House” happy, as the structure still stands. Today it is known as The House of Seven Gables. And you are invited to tour it during February School Vacation Week, Feb. 17-25.

Designated a National Historic Landmark District in 2007, The House of the Seven Gables is best known today as the setting of world-renowned American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel.

But, before that, it was to be a home and the question is what tools and designs worked best in 1668?  What failed? How did they learn from their mistakes?

Children and their families will find out. Tools, as you can well imagine, are part of the intrigue — some will look familiar 350 years later. Some won’t. Those attending will learn about the tools of the trade and which materials were used most often in Colonial Salem.

It gets even better. This is an interactive event. All in attendance will also get the chance to experiment with different construction techniques at each of The Gables’ workshop stations.

Plus, as an extra special treat for the kids (and perhaps adults) you’ll be able to fold and decorate your own paper house to take home!

Special interactive presentations— Why Do We Have Gables? — are scheduled at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. when Museum staff explore the construction of historic buildings and which parts of these structures are strongest.

School vacation programming is included with admission from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Check 7gables.org for hours, and rates. The program is free for Salem residents with valid identification and Museum members.

The House of Seven Gables is located at 115 Derby St., Salem. For more information, call 978-744-0991 or check out the Museum website.

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Nov 262017
 

Everybody has an opinion although sometimes people don’t want to hear yours. But we do when it comes to reactions, comments, criticism, and suggestions about Haunted Happenings in Salem Ma.

Gone but not forgotten, our month-long celebration of Halloween (and all things spooky) doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes a lot of planning by a lot of people, groups, merchants and attractions.

To that end, the city of Salem has scheduled an “after action” review of Halloween 2017 for this Thursday, Nov. 30 from 5-6pm at the Salem Five Community Room, 210 Essex Street.

Everyone is welcome: tourists, business owners and most especially residents! We want you to share feedback with Mayor Kim Driscoll, and city officials in the public safety, traffic & parking, and public works departments.

What did you like, what worked well, and what did not work well for you this past October? Parking? Traffic patterns? Noise?

If you are unable to attend, the Mayor’s team still wants to hear from you. Submit feedback to mayor@salem.com or write to Office of Mayor Kimberly Driscoll, Salem City Hall, 93 Washington Street, Salem Ma 01970.

Thousands of people flood our community every weekend during October. They generate a significant amount of revenue for merchants and attractions. But unintentionally visitors also impact the lives of residents. This is your chance to help Haunted Happenings continue to be an event that serves the needs of all of Salem.

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Nov 242017
 

Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the day that small businesses in Salem and all along Main Street USA really look forward to: Small Business Saturday. First observed in the United States on November 27, 2010, it is a day when communities of shoppers are urged to support the convenience of driving or even walking to their local brick & mortar businesses, instead of fighting the crowds at faraway over-crowded malls.

That kick-off Small Business Saturday was sponsored by American Express, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and Roslindale Village Main Street. Since then it has grown into a nationwide event, with an estimated 112 million consumers reported to have shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2016.

Shopping Local Is An Experience

Small Business Saturday is so great,” explains Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets, “because it’s not just about the shopping or the things – though with over 200 locally-operated storefronts in downtown Salem, there’s certainly no shortage of gifts and treats to be found! Instead it’s more about the experience of being part of a community, the feeling you get when you’re in a locally-owned business that simply can’t be replicated in a box store or online.”

You can walk into a locally-owned Salem store and actually speak to a clerk with product knowledge of items in the store. Or just as likely, you can chat with the store owner! Ever talk to the owner or even manager of a big box store (unless to complain)?

Adds Elizabeth Rutledge, EVP of Global Advertising and Media at American Express, “People across the country are aware of the benefits that small businesses can bring to the community, and the momentum that was started with the first Small Business Saturday continues to build.”

That is backed up by the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. Among U.S. consumers who went out and shopped in-store, total reported spending reached an estimated $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants in 2016.

You will be in good company.

So, a word to the wise, relax on Friday and Monday. And make Saturday your day for walking out of Salem stores with good deals for your holiday and other gift giving needs!

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Oct 032017
 

Photo Credit – Social Palates/Creative Salem via Salem Chamber

Movie Monsters will flood the streets of Salem this Thursday, Oct. 5th as the 22nd annual Haunted Happenings Grand Parade officially kicks off THE Halloween season for tourists and residents alike.

Twenty-two years. If you were a 10-year-old kid dressed in costume for any of the first few, quite possibly you have a son or daughter participating this year. Tradition is a big deal for this parade.

Another tradition involves picking a theme to help participants get creative in their costuming and float themes. Movie Monsters opens a vast panorama from which to dig deep the creative juices. We look forward to the sights and sounds.

According to the Salem Chamber of Commerce, which produces the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade, “The choice of costumes for this year’s parade is endless, based on all the classic and beloved monster themed movies parents and kids love. The parade audience will see a lot of characters from Monsters Inc., Beauty and the Beast, Harry Potter, and The Addams Family, to name a few. Thriller might make a comeback and one or two horror movie characters might join the Salem Chamber Haunted Happenings Parade as well!”

Who participates?

Children & teens from Salem schools along with adults from schools, businesses, city offices, fire & police departments and other organizations participate as volunteers, organizers, planners, walkers and cleanup crews. It really is a group effort.

What’s the Route?

Haunted Happenings Grand Parade begins at Shetland properties on Congress street, precisely at 6:30pm. Marchers turn left onto Derby Street, right onto Central Street, left onto Front Street, right onto Washington Street, right onto the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall and finish at the Salem common.

Friends and family cheer them on along the way, and at the Common they will be entertained by local favorite DJ Doug.

If you would like to volunteer to help with aspects of the Parade, contact the Chamber at 978-744-0004.

Mark your calendar to remind you to visit us this Thursday to see the spirit of Halloween on the faces of kids as the spotlight is all theirs.

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