Mar 032017
 

Did you notice a larger than usual crowd walking about Salem this evening? It will get even bigger as the 10th annual Salem Film Fest gets underway.

Regarded and highly respected as one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals, it presents a rich and diverse collection of the year’s best work from all over the world.

Film screenings take place March 3-9 at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), and the National Park Service Visitor Center. The schedule and full breadth of the week-long events can be viewed at salemfilmfest.com. Attendance at this year’s screening is easily expected to surpass last year’s record setting 6,000+ viewers.

Salem Film Fest concentrates on well-told stories with strong technical elements and interesting visual approaches, letting narratives unfold that wind their way through the human experience in the USA and foreign lands. Many of the films represent a US, East Coast or regional premiere. Filmmakers are expected to be present for more than half of the screenings, giving audiences a unique advantage to learn about the documentary process.

SFF 2017 offers a diverse schedule of feature length and short documentaries, parties, discussions, meet-and-greets, family-friendly screenings, student film showcases, and opportunities to meet visiting filmmakers in intimate settings.

Each film provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the encounters of others in a dramatic and sensory way, embarking upon what is different and recognizing what is common to us all. “The world is an amazing place,” is an oft worn but timely phrase. Salem Film Fest affirms that travel quote for your eyes and ears to behold. And some films may strike that ‘responsive chord’ that can change your life forever.

Again, go to film titles and times for full list of options to see.

Salem Film Fest was founded in 2008 by filmmaker Joe Cultrera (HAND OF GOD), local businessman Paul Van Ness (CinemaSalem, Van Ness Creative), Executive Director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Rinus Oosthoek and others from the community. Run and operated entirely by volunteers, the week-long festival has become a community-wide event with screenings at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum and the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center with filmmaker parties and music events held at venues throughout downtown. Fueled by great films, dedicated volunteers and enthusiastic audiences, festival attendance has grown 15 to 25 percent each year.

Accept our invitation to see the world up close and personal.

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Feb 122017
 

The conversation has begun. Are you a part of it? Do you want to be? Mayor Kim Driscoll, in her State of the City address last month, announced a community visioning process known as Imagine Salem. All Salem residents and community members are invited to join the Imagine Salem community conversation to prepare a road map to what they want the community to look like in 2026—the year that Salem celebrates its 400th anniversary.

The dialogue will be framed around housing, jobs, and transportation with themes of equity and inclusiveness woven throughout the topics. The vision will serve as a guide for future decisions.

“Salem has seen tremendous investment and growth over the past ten years,” said Mayor Driscoll. “New residents are joining longtime families in calling Salem home. Brownfields are being transformed, the waterfront is coming alive, and downtown has become a vibrant destination for the region. We’ve made important investments in our infrastructure, and our local economy is robust. Now the question is what kind of city do we want to be in ten years? How do we make sure our city is best positioned to continue our prosperity? From schools to housing and transportation to employment, let’s set some expectations for ourselves and then work to get them done.”

What can you do now?

  • Visit the website (www.imaginesalem.org).
  • Take a brief online survey.
  • Like Imagine Salem on Facebook.
  • Share a photo on Instagram.
  • Attend the citywide meeting on March 8 (6:30 PM Salem High School).
  • Come to a small get-together for coffee and conversation.

Those interested in doing more are invited to host a small group conversation. The conversation could be over a cup of coffee, at a book club, or a Sunday lunch with the family — however you typically meet with your friends, family, or social groups.

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) will provide you with the tools you need to facilitate a fun and engaging conversation about the future of Salem. Contact the DPCD (imaginesalem@salem.com, 978-619-5685) for more information.

“The people of Salem are what make this City great,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Our community’s vision should reflect their lives and experiences, and advance our collective hopes and dreams. I urge everyone to join the Imagine Salem conversation. I hope you will participate in as many ways as possible. Your contributions will help shape the vision for Salem’s future.”

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Dec 192016
 

Dressed for the season with trees, wreaths, and ribbons, Salem is ready for the Holiday Season. In fact, over 20 downtown businesses have decorated their windows especially for the holidays as part of our traditional Holiday Window Contest. Judges nominated by Salem Main Streets recently did a little window shopping of their own to vote on the best windows.

“We had some truly fantastic windows this year, as always,” said Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director. “We gave the judges extra freedom to create new award categories based on what they saw this particular year.”

Some award categories highlight good retail design – use of product or use of light – while others highlighted types of participation or partnerships.

For example, the Contest Legacy award was given to businesses who have demonstrated high quality windows across consecutive years, while the Contest Newcomer recognized businesses with high quality displays who have not regularly participated in the contest.

And, the new Salem Spirit award recognized those who exemplified the true spirit of community in the design of their windows.

Without further ado, here are the winners:

Best Overall: The Happy Sunflower

Best Use of Product: Curtsy
Honorable Mention –  Partridge in the Bear Tree

Best Use of Lighting: Emporium 32
Honorable Mention – Hair Express

Contest Legacy (demonstrating high quality year after year): ReFind Men’s
Honorable Mention – Pamplemousse

Contest Newcomer: Aroma Sanctum
Honorable Mention – Witch Pix

Salem Spirit: The Coven’s Cottage, nAGLY

If you haven’t looked at the windows yet, we recommend going this week, especially during Festive Fridays, when numerous businesses around the downtown have committed to staying open until 8 pm to aid in your holiday shopping. More information about Festive Fridays and participating businesses can be found at this location.

In addition, this year, you get a chance to win! Salem Main Streets is holding two social media competitions on Facebook and Instagram right now.  Post a picture of your favorite #salemholidaywindows, or take a #selfiewithashopkeeper on Festive Friday nights, and you could win a prize from a local business.

For more information about the Holiday Window Contest, contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director, at (978)744-0004 or kylie@salemmainstreets.org,  and follow Salem Main Streets on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Nov 262016
 

ss_clean_15degr_blueAs different as night and day, so too are the approaches to the stressful intensity of Black Friday and the laid-back pick & choose aspect of Small Business Saturday (which takes place, Nov 26, this year.)

A large number of Salem businesses await you with specials and good deals, plus giveaways and refreshments as a way of saying thank you for patronage all year long to regular customers— and a way of greeting new customers with open arms in hopes of facilitating customer engagement.

Did you drag yourself away from Thanksgiving Dinner or from a pleasant full- stomach midnight sleep to stand in line in hopes of being among the lucky few to nab a door-buster of a deal? Feeling tired about now? Get some rest and walk– not elbow– your way into many, many stores in Salem on Saturday as they participate in Small Business Saturday.

shop-smallWhat was created in 2010 by American Express to give a kick in the pants to a recession-suffering economy has grown into a “big deal” day with shoppers last year spending $16.2 billion at small retailers, up from $5.5 billion just three years earlier.

Reportedly, 95 million shoppers and 1.3 million retailers participated in 2015!

By supporting small business retailers on Small Business Saturday you will be participating in a local event that is at the same time being enacted in every community across America.

As they say on a TV game show, “come on down” and as an extra incentive, there is free parking at all Salem city garages, parking lots and meters today.

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Nov 142016
 

From freaky fun destination to fabulous foodie stop, Salem Ma converts itself in November from what you saw in October. Gone are the ghouls. Enter the entrees as Salem Fall Restaurant & Wine Week launches Sunday, November 13 – Thursday, November 17.

salem-rest-weekFor these 5 days only, participating Salem Ma. restaurants will offer either a two-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $19, or a three-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $29, or a three-course, prix fixe dinner and wine flight for $49 (note these prices – except for the wine selection – do not include drinks, taxes, or gratuities).

Salem has, over the last few years, established itself on the North Shore as an entertaining culinary destination and people really look forward to our Fall Restaurant Week event. And why not? From one dining locale to another, you will be treated to 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.

Salem Fall Restaurant & Wine Week is sponsored by the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Reservations are encouraged; contact the restaurants directly. Please mention “Restaurant Week” when making your reservations.

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