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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Jan 172018
 

Hard to believe that such a simple idea 16 years ago, to have a gathering in Salem in the cold of winter that would warm the hearts of residents, friends, and local merchants, has blossomed into a major North Shore event. It is with a happy heart that Salem Main Streets, along with the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Destination Salem, and local businesses invite you to attend the 16th annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival, Feb. 9-11, 2018.

It is indeed a decadent tradition of delectable chocolate, sparkling ice sculptures, and Valentine’s Day shopping… you won’t want to miss Salem’s sweetest event of the year! It is a great date option!

The Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival officially kicks off with a Chocolate and Wine Tasting, on Friday, February 9th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, at Colonial Hall at Rockafellas, 231 Essex Street.

Did you know that:

  • Americans consume 8 billion pounds of chocolate each year, or over 11 pounds per person. (FranchiseHelp.com)
  • The United States drinks more wine than any other nation on earth. Americans consumed 329 million cases in 2013 (Impact Databank)

Our luscious tasting event features wine and chocolate samplings from premier Salem restaurants, stores, and sweet shops.  Music by local favorite Molly Pinto Madigan will set a sweet mood. This event is the highlight of the season and sells out quickly!

(Tickets are $30 a person and can now be purchased over the phone by calling 978-744-0004, online at www.salemsosweet.com, or in person at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street, Suite 101.)

Starting the morning of Saturday, February 10th, ice sculptures will begin appearing all around downtown Salem. It has become a tradition that some locals will run around the downtown district to be the first to post sculpture pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Last year, we had a record-breaking 25 beautiful ice sculptures, including the Queen of Hearts, Cinderella’s Carriage, a goat named Bella, and more – including actual ice bars at Rockafellas’ and the Regatta Pub. Be sure to make pre-Valentine Day plans for a special evening stroll on Saturday, Feb. 10, when the sculptures will be illuminated by Retonica! More information about this year’s sculptures will be available online at www.salemsosweet.com as we get closer to the event.

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

Many downtown businesses will offer chocolate samplings and sweet discounts all weekend in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Check to see who is participating in the “Golden Ticket” – 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.

Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival 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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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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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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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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